GANG of Youths ended 2021 with bang, after a big performance of ‘the angel of 8th ave.’ on ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’, touring arenas as special guests to Sam Fender, and playing
some rapidly sold-out headline shows.
Now the band release of their hotly tipped new album ‘angel in realtime.’ which is out today (February 25).
Collectively, ‘angel in realtime.’ charts the waves of emotions that flooded over Dave Le’aupepe following the loss of his father, and in particular, their recent single ‘in the wake of your leave’ focuses on a very specific aspect of the experience.
Overwhelmed, Le’aupepe uses songwriting as an eloquent and poignant outlet for his grief. Yetwhile you would expect the creative experience to provide a cathartic release, instead he feels
constricted by repeatedly gravitating to the same topic.
In contrast to its introspective lyrics, sonically ‘in the wake of your leave’ couldn’t feel more uplifting.
Gang of Youths convert sorrow into a song that burns with life-affirming, whole-hearted passion – from its exuberant rush to its bright, colossal melodies and its addictive, radio-friendly hook.
And in one of the band’s most striking hallmarks, it still shimmers with a remarkable attention to detail: the elegiac backing harmonies of the Auckland Gospel Choir; the percussion provided by a collective of drummers from the Cook Islands; and Tom Hobden’s stirring string arrangements.
Dave Le’aupepe says, “I wanted to reflect on how I became dependent on grief for solace and inspiration. The cycle from numbness to acceptance to yearning plays a role in my approach to
grieving my dad’s death. As a result, most of the time, I feel a bit futile as a person.”
‘in the wake of your leave’ and the band’s other recent singles are seeing Gang of Youths elevate their international profile, especially in the UK and the US. On these shores, the new songs have resulted in support from Radio 1, while Radio X nominated ‘the angel of 8th ave.’ for their Record of the Year.
The album’s conceptual themes are amplified by Gang of Youths’ ever more ambitious musical approach.
Their influences range from American minimalism and contemporary classical, to drawing upon the legacy of Britain’s alternative/indie scenes, such as drum ‘n’ bass to the most transcendent
moments of Britpop.
It’s equally rooted in Le’aupepe’s Polynesian heritage, featuring samples from David Fanshawe’s recordings of indigenous music from the Polynesian islands and the wider South Pacific, as well as contributions from a cast of talented Pasifika and Maori vocalists and instrumentalists.
‘angel in realtime.’ is available to pre-order here. Formats include digital, double white vinyl and CD, while HMV and select independent stores offer a special
edition of the vinyl which feature an alternate cover.
Gang of Youths recently announced the following UK and European headline dates in support of ‘angel in realtime.’ including playing Birmingham Institute on March 12.
They then tour North America in April and May ahead of summer festival season.
They’re also confirmed for Glasgow’s TRSMT Festival on July 10th alongside Lewis Capaldi, Wolf Alice, DMA’S
and many more.
Please see their official website for ticket details and a full list of their tour shows.