Synth Pop can be a fine art that is easy to come by but not always easy to pull off. The wide range of possibilities that can come from the genre makes it hard to put together something that a large portion of people will like. You can either end up sounding like another new wave band or something that would be played in a Target commercial.
Nation of Language does a great job of putting together a mix of sounds that traditional and new synth pop fans can agree is enjoyable. They combined sounds from the classic days of new wave with feel good lyrics and beats with only three members that someone without an 80s background can enjoy.
Even in the live setting, Nation of Language did a great job of giving the same feeling you would receive if you were listening to their music with airpods. The only real noticeable difference between the live performance and their music recordings was the crowd noise and the rain pouring down throughout the performance.
Even the lead singer, Ian Richard Devaney, was able to replicate his impressive vocals that I figured would require some studio effects. His movements also complemented the music and helped achieve the hopeful synth pop feeling that people love.
Nation of Language went through their set for the necessary amount of time and engaged with the crowd when they needed to. They were able to keep the rain soaked crowd moving. They even stuck through the rain to watch the headliner of the night, Kim Gordon, perform.
I think that it is clear that Nation of Language has a clear understanding of what has been done in the genre they are entering and what should be done in the future. Their 2020 and 2021 albums, “Introduction, Please” and “A Way Forward” contain a bit of good tracks and they even have a cover of The Replacements’, “Androgynous” that has recently been released.
– Dilan Mattison