In 1995, VNV Nation released the name's first album Advance and Follow and would go on to be a staple in the electronic genre. Ronan Harris is the writer, singer and producer of the songs with outside assistance once and a while. VNV Nation stands for "Victory not Vengence" and the messages throughout all of his songs are just that. The lyrics are thought-provoking and sings of real world problems, hopes, and courage. Here are 10 of the best VNV Nation songs.
10. “Only Satellites”
Taken from 2018’s Noire, “Only Satellites” takes us on an anthemic journey through the heavens, leaving the Earth one day. The futuristic upbeat track sails through our time on the planet up towards the lights up above. “Satellites” stands out on the album as a feel-good danceable song.
9. “Standing - Still”
“Standing - Still” is a single with other variations such as “Standing - Motion” that eventually was digitally released as Standing/Burning Empires (EP). The set was sought after by fans as it was a limited physical release and finally hit the digital market since its 2000 release. The song stops time for Ronan Harris but while those moments are forever “standing still” for him, the world changes and seasons change.
8. “Carry You”
“Carry You” is found on 2007’s Judgement which was once rumored to be the last album. However, “Carry You” and the rest of the album was only the beginning in VNV Nation’s evolving styling since the 1990s.
In 2011, VNV Nation released the eighth studio album Automatic which was designed to be more melodic overall. “Streamline” has a futuristic message that we already experience today with technology and humankind but expanding into the unknown and writing a more peaceful chapter. “Discard the old regimes/ Failed ideologies/ Draw the lines and start again,” he sings of a hopeful 21st century.
“Gratitude” follows “Streamline” on the album Automatic and is yet another catchy tune from the electronic writer. “Gratitude” thanks all the down points in life - the doubt, loneliness and emptiness. These emotions drove him to be inspired where he would find where he belonged.
5. “Space & Time”
“Space & Time” has an explosive chorus that if done by a mainstream artist would become a hit on radio. It seems as if VNV Nation is wanting to move forward but instead is stuck in the present moment merely looking back without being in the present.
“Illusion” is hailed as one of the best songs in VNV Nation's catalog. The somber track is a plea to someone that is at the end of their rope and needs to hear that they're important. “The feeling sometimes wishing you were someone else/ Feeling as though you never belong/ This feeling is not sadness, this feeling is not joy/ I truly understand,” he sings.
3. “Lost Horizon”
One thing VNV Nation is known for besides his worldview lyrics is his instrumental tracks on his album. Taken from 2013’s Transnational, “Lost Horizon” sounds as such with its heavenly beginning taking off into a new journey. The song is pulsing, uplifting, atmospheric, and a highlight of his career even with no words to sing to. It’s such an open feeling that the listener can toy around with words of their own.
In 2009, VNV Nation released the album Of Faith, Power and Glory which was another solid set of songs for fans. “Defiant” is a song of encouragement, of courage, and never letting fate determine what’s next. “Unto the end and back again/ Defiant to the last man/ ‘Till there’s nothing left to fight against/ No surrender,” he sings throughout the song.
With lyrics like “To the songs that sing of glory and the brave/ Are we dreaming there are better days to come?/ When will the banners and the victory parades/ Celebrate the day a better world was won?,” it’s hard not to fall into a feeling of wanting unity. Though the song was released a decade ago, it seems even more important now. If that day arrives when the storm is being unleashed, there’s hope for better days ahead.