Nation Of Language are a few weeks out from releasing their sophomore effort, A Way Forward. So far, we’ve heard “Across That Fine Line,” “Wounds Of Love,” “This Fractured Mind,” and “A Word And A Wave.” Now, the Brooklyn synthpop outfit has shared the upbeat yet poignant “The Grey Commute,” which also gets a music video.
Opening up about “The Grey Commute,” vocalist Ian Devaney says:
In some ways “The Grey Commute” is one of the more upbeat songs of the record, but in truth it’s one that was born out of much more depressing stuff. As I was working on the lyrics I had a kind of fixation on terrible tax policies, our cultural addiction to meaningless consumption, and it all got swept together into this punchy, kind of fun track.
To give a sense of time: the Republican tax plan, under which we’re currently living, was just being passed and it was pretty clear just how mind-bindingly stupid it was. Such deep cuts to the taxes of the hyper-wealthy and corporations were both shocking and not shocking at all, and it was difficult to comprehend that anyone thought it wouldn’t lead to the exacerbation of the inequality and instability that defines our time. But here we are. You can see everything I felt then pretty clearly represented on the page when absent any backbeat and melody, but the rant gets dressed up a bit with some bounciness on the final cut to help serve as a bit of a Trojan horse to hopefully get the sentiment across.
The video’s overt absurdity serves a similar purpose in trying to compliment the absurdity of the subject matter. We turned the task of hitting that particular note over to our friend Gary Canino, who has been churning out amazing videos for his own musical project (Dark Tea) for some time. We’d been devouring his work over the past year, and Aidan actually ended up in the video for his song “Buying A Gun.” He’s able to use humor in a way that has thus far eluded me when it comes to making our own videos, and this really felt like the right song to bring some of that energy to.
Watch “The Grey Commute” below.
A Way Forward is out 11/5. Pre-order it here.