Nic Harcourt’s Best New Music: Nation Of Language


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It’s Friday, which means it’s time for Spark’s music expert and legendary L.A. radio DJ Nic Harcourt to weigh in on what new music he’s got on repeat at the moment. Below, he shares his newest picks added to his Spark Radio playlist and shares a spotlight on his favorite earworm of the week.

New To Spark Radio:
Nation Of Language: Across That Fine Line
Wolf Alice: How Can It OK?
Bachelor, Jay Som, Palehound: Back Of My Hand
Natalie Bergman: Paint The Rain
Japanese Breakfast: Paprika
CHURCHES, Robert Smith: How Not To Drown
Jessie Ware: Hot N Heavy
The Marias: Un Million
James: All The Colors Of YouS
Sharon Van Etten, Angel Olsen: Like I Used To

It doesn’t happen that often, but it does still happen, (to me at least) that moment when you’re just ten seconds into listening to a new song for the first time and you immediately know it’s your favorite new jam! Right? There’s also those times where you don’t realize just how great something is until the nth time of listening, you know it when you hear it. Peter Frampton once told me that “There are no rules in music”. He’s right, and I might add there are no rules about how we hear music. But for me, the songs that put a smile on my face are tracks that grab me quickly and then hit me with the killer punch halfway in. That’s how I felt when I heard Nation Of Language’s new single “Across That Fine Line”, a little earlier today.  The Brooklyn based foursome of Ian Richard Devaney (vocals, guitar, percussion), and Michael Sue-Poi (bass) (both ex Static Jacks) and Aidan Noell (synth, vocals) grabbed critics attention with their 2020 debut Introduction, Presence scoring a Stereogum album of the week when it was released in May.  The band followed it up with a couple of singles —  “A Different Kind Of Life” and “Deliver Me From Wondering Why” around the holidays.

With their second full length A Way Forward on the way lead track “Across That Fine Line” is out today, it’s a got a great post-punk/new wave bouncy synth and bassline sitting under Devaney’s vocals, as he said about the new record that the band “experimented with their “relationship to the music of the 70s, through the lenses of krautrock and early electronic music. As for ‘Across That Fine Line’ he said  “Is a reflection on that moment when a non-romantic relationship flips into something different. When the air in the room suddenly feels like it changes in an undefinable way. It’s a kind of celebration of that certain joyous panic, and the uncertainty that surfaces right after it. Sonically, it’s meant to feel like running down a hill, just out of control. I had been listening to a lot of Thee Oh Sees at the time of writing it and admiring the way they supercharge krautrock rhythms and imbue them with a kind of mania, which felt like an appropriate vibe to work with and make our own”. 

Photo: Kevin Condon

Meet The Scientists,
The Artists,
Community Leaders,
The Chefs,
The Educators,
The Investors
and The Innovators
Who are Spark.

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Meet The Scientists, The Artists, Community Leaders, The Chefs, The Educators, The Investors and The Innovators Who are Spark.