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Interviews Music

One Track Mind: Nation of Language

The US synth-pop bands’s Ian Devaney kicks off our new series by waxing lyrical about The Beach Boys.

Over the past decade or so of interviewing artists, one thing I’ve found is that it’s often difficult for them to talk about their own music. After all, music is the great communicator: if you need to explain the story behind its creation, or the meaning behind its lyrical content, then you’re in danger of missing the point. Conversely – given the chance – they more often that not love being effusive about other people’s work. One Track Mind is an opportunity for them to do just that.

The premise is pretty simple: I ask artists to pick one track that means a lot to them – either something they’ve discovered recently, something that’s been with them for years, or one that reminds them of a specific time in their life or career – and tell me what makes it so special to them. I get to talk to the artists I love, and they get to talk about the artists they love. Love all round!

Kicking off the series is Ian Devaney from Nation of Language, who are arguably my favourite new musical discovery of 2020. Their album Introduction, Presence has brought me an inordinate amount of joy this year, and I’m extremely grateful to Ian for taking the time to speak to me.

For his selection, Ian chose a late-era Beach Boys song that deals in melancholy and nostalgia, themes that are also present in much of Nation of Language’s music.