Gang of Youths Are Back with New EP and World Tour
It’s surprisingly difficult to pinpoint the sound of Gang of Youths. Upon first listen, it’s Australian rock — edgy with a touch of lyrical gentleness. Though as you dive deeper and deeper, stretching from tracks like the melancholically triumphant ‘Magnolia’ to drum-heavy ‘What Can I Do If the Fire Goes Out?’, their sound becomes a mixture of beautiful things. An amalgamation of slam poetry, ambient instrumentals and the timeless rasp of frontman Dave Le’aupepe’s attention-demanding voice. Their tracks are heart, heritage and honesty wrapped up in four-minute intervals.
After a four-year hiatus from music, the Sydney band are back with their new EP tend the garden, as well as an upcoming album and world tour dates. What a way to come back!
The new EP reminds us of Gang of Youth’s trademark poignancy — equipped with four new tracks that tug your heartstrings; inspire you to tell someone you love them, and energise you to wake up at 5 AM and watch the sunrise. In simple terms, their music is life-affirming, and why after all these years, their songs remain on our Spotify rotation, the new tracks now joining others.
tend the garden, as well as their upcoming album angel in real-time. pays homage to Le’aupepe’s late father, Teleso “Tattersall” Le’aupepe.
We never knew his story until after he died, so this is the most poetic interpretation of his affinity for gardening that I could think of.
The track ‘the man himself’ is full of emotion, Le’aupepe’s vocals strong and backed by the unbelievable wrath of drums and intense strings — violin and guitar that mix the old with the new. We’re invited to Le’aupepe’s mind;
he doesn’t know ‘how to feel right’ and how to handle change and growing up, especially rocked by the absence of his father. It’s raw and insightful, a beautiful portrayal of grief and perseverance.
The titular track bites with an electronic, spacey rhythm — a completely new venture for the band that proves itself instantly. ‘tend the garden’ is the perfect example of Gang of Youth’s impressive caliber — combining electronica, graceful violin, laughter, and storytelling to make you both dance and feel heartache.
Their comeback track, ’the angel of 8th avenue’ is a fiery exclamation of what it means to be human. Wasted days, ‘sinking feelings’, navigating the unfamiliar, and searching for signs of faith even when you hesitate to admit you needed any. This tune is their most recognisable, Le’aupepe sourcing inspiration from their new home of Angel, North London, and ‘finding a new life in a new city together.
Slowing the pace, ‘unison’ balances soft vocals with dazy, dream-like instrumentals that invite pondering and reflection. This is where Gang of Youths’ sound takes us: worlds so alike to reality, where the layers of grief and angst and retrospection are peeled back to reveal the goodness that hides underneath what hurts.
This latest EP is a taste of angel in real-time, which is available everywhere on February 25. In the meantime, relish in Dave’s signature dance moves and head here for tickets to their 2022 tour, on sale to the general public on November 19.
Author: Savannah Selimi
Feature Image: Rashidi Noah
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