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Nation of Language on 'Strange Disciple,' non-news and studio dogs

A man wearing sunglasses stands between another man and a woman with an arm around each as they stand beneath a stage in an outdoor music venue.
Nation of Language / Facebook

Several months ago, I had the incredible privilege of attending Pitchfork, an event that introduced me to the remarkably talented Nation of Language — the trio comprising Ian Richard Devaney, Aidan Noell and Alex MacKay.

Their music defies easy categorization, often described as a bewitching fusion of new wave synth-pop. What sets apart their sound is its unique ability to make you want to dance while simultaneously prompting profound introspection about your own existence. It's a rare alchemy I found utterly captivating.

During an eventful bus journey from Milwaukee to Chicago, I had the honor of being among the first to experience the band’s upcoming album, Strange Disciple, slated for release this Friday, Sept. 15. Allow me to paint the scene:

I found myself nestled in a cramped bus seat, attempting to contort my body for maximum comfort, all the while ensnared by the mesmerizing allure of the album. It was genuinely heart-wrenching that I couldn't leap out of my seat and dance right then and there. The experience was nothing short of unique and surreal, leaving an indelible mark on my memory.

Nevertheless, I eagerly anticipate all the future opportunities I’ll have to fully immerse myself in their music — one of which isn’t far away. Right now, they’re touring behind the album and will bring their music to Turner Hall on Oct. 18 (the show was originally scheduled for the Back Room but changed venues due to demand).

As my Pitchfork journey continued, I went from listening to the new album to talking with the exceptionally talented members of Nation of Language, delving deeper into the intricacies and inspirations behind Strange Disciple. You can hear our conversation using the “Listen” button at the top of the page and pick up the new LP on the band’s website.

Audio Storyteller | Radio Milwaukee