The GANG OF YOUTHS – ” Angel In Realtime “

Posted: December 3, 2021 in MUSIC
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Australian band “Gang Of Youths’ upcoming third album “Angel In Realtime” (and its accompanying tour) are already one of 2022’s most anticipated musical events. And in the lead-up, the band have been hard on the promo trail. One of Australia’s most exciting musical exports, Gang of Youths, makes their Late Show debut with this performance.

They’ve been playing a bunch of shows across Europe, the US, and their adopted UK, including opening for Sam Fender (did you catch their Bruce Springsteen cover?), and now they’ve turned in a performance for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

They brought a stirring rendition of their barrelling, cathartic ‘the Angel of 8th Ave.’. There’s swirling camera movements and simple, striking lighting but the focal point is obviously frontman Dave Le’uapepe, as he stalks and sways across the stage. This is hardly the band’s first time on US TV, and their popularity has ballooned in recent years overseas, but we’re still jealous thinking of any viewers who might be experiencing the dancing, charismatic Le’aupepe for the very first time. (The feeling must be close to seeing Future Islands’ iconic Letterman performance; ‘Who Is this guy!?’ )

We’re still getting crippling info that international audiences are enjoying the new Gangs live before Australia. With their track ‘The Angel of 8th Ave’ and the surprise EP, “Total Serene”. The band followed it up with a new single called ‘The Man Himself’. The Sydney-bred group have been teasing the track on socials and playing it in their Live shows for (very lucky) UK festival crowds lately, and the studio version shows them pushing to evolve their sound beyond the indie-rock arena anthems that’s made them so beloved.

For starters, there’s different textures going on, with piano and violin (from newest member Tom Hobden) foregrounded over breakbeat drum parts. Like all recent Gang of Youths material, ‘The Man Himself’ was recorded after the band relocated to London in 2017, in their own studio space in Hackney.

Lyrically, it’s a deeply personal mediation on grief and growth from Dave Le’aupepe, wrapped up with his late father, who died of cancer in 2018. His memory won’t be forgotten – ‘There’s a painting of you/And it hangs in our kitchen’ Dave sings – but it also reflects his struggle of making his way through the world without his old man. As the track winds down for a quieter passage, the frontman sings:

‘So take a single step at a simple pace/and the outward momentum will maybe unfu*k you in time
So comb your hair and clean your teeth/and dial back home at least or twice a week
And make sure that you see them more a lot more than I do with mine’

Angel In Realtime” is out 25th February, 2022. 

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