Watch VNV Nation’s second ever music video, “Wait”

VNV Nation has only previously released one music video—for the song “When Is the Future.”

VNV Nation - Wait

It’s kind of hard to believe that VNV Nation, a band with with an expansive back catalog that includes ten full-length albums and dozens of singles, has only ever released one music video—for the song “When Is the Future.”

Until now, that is.

Last night, VNV Nation surprise-released a video for their new song “Wait,” the second single from their upcoming set, Electric Sun.

The “Wait” video features hooded figures moving in formation on a soundstage as incredible lights and lasers flash all around them. The VNV logo hovers in the background. The video, conceived and designed by VNV mastermind Ronan Harris and produced by 360 Grad Design, does a remarkable job of capturing the intensity of VNV’s live experiences.

Ronan himself does not appear in “Wait,” so he’s yet to show his face in a music video. In the video for “When Is the Future,” he appears in nearly every frame with his back to the camera as he strolls through Tokyo, Japan.

What is “Wait” about?

“Wait” is the sound of VNV Nation pissed off at the state of things. Notably, it doesn’t contain a traditional chorus. Instead, it’s built on a memorable hook, “all we do is wait,” and there’s a real menace to the way Ronan delivers the word “wait.” He sings variations of the line that include “all we do is take” and “all we do is laugh.”

Ronan opens “Wait” with the line “Shadows of the sun,” directly addressing the sun in the album’s title and setting the stage on our world. Throughout, he hints at devastation: “that which is destroyed,” “time is running out,” and “bounty goes to waste” to name a few. One of the things VNV does so well is couch its lyrics in vagaries, forcing the user to fill in the blanks. The song’s setting beneath the sun suggests it’s about the impact of global warming, and its final couplet, “The waters rising to our necks, and all we do is wait,” reinforces that notion.

What “Wait” is really about, though, is apathy. Mankind does nothing but watch and wait while our world ignites around us. Ronan sings of other actions we do instead—celebrating, drinking, hoarding wealth. He’s pissed off we’re doing nothing to address the world’s worries. I am reminded of climate activist Greta Thunberg’s many scathing speeches, scolding world leaders for doing nothing about the climate crisis.

Twice in the song, Ronan includes the lyric “dancing in the flames.” It’s reminiscent of themes VNV has explored in past songs, particularly Noire’s “Lights Go Out.” Other modern synthpop artists have embraced the illusion of dancing while the world wears away, including Grendel on their track “Fire and Light” and Beborn Beton on their recent single “Dancer in the Dark.”

Electric Sun arrives in late April

“Wait” comes from VNV Nation’s eleventh studio album, Electric Sun, which is due out April 28, 2023. Electric Sun is the follow-up to VNV Nation’s last album, Noire, which arrived in October 2018.

The single release for “Wait” is accompanied by a nearly 8-minute extended mix that pauses the beat around the halfway mark for a lovely violin interlude. The extended version is also included in the limited edition boxset for Electric Sun.

We’ve already heard Electric Sun’s lead single, “Before the Rain,” VNV’s contemplative treatise about the origin of the cosmos and the possibility of a new relationship. I included it in my list of the best songs of February.

VNV Nation “Wait” lyrics

Shadows of the Sun,
enraptured in the sound
Hypernormal frequencies
illuminating clouds

We televise the noise
to all that we can reach
The broadcasts preach the word
of better times and peace

We automate the lies
with images we fake
Machines to grant our every wish
when all we do is take!

To Apathy we drink
when dancing in the flames
A chance for us to celebrate
because all we do is wait!

Who has the most is King
Constructed to be served
so that which is destroyed
is cheered on while it burns

With nothing left to lose
and seconds ticking fast,
though time is running out,
all we do is laugh—

and hide among the crowd,
drowning in its noise,
in envy of the beautiful
facades of shallow grace

The best would try and fail,
feel helpless at the task
but lead as if they rule in hell
when all we do is wait!

Our fortunes running out
and our options running dry
With no one else to turn to,
still, we sit and cry

We’re dancing in the flames
to the sounds of our demise
Drinking to our apathy
because all we do is wait

The King, the sacred Crown,
the Chalice and the Mace
who rule over these famine lands
whose bounty goes to waste

A power that corrupts,
regaling this as fate
The waters rising to our necks
and all we do is wait

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