Posts Tagged ‘Dave Le’aupepe’

Gang Of Youths (pic by Ed Cooke)

Aussie indie legends Gang Of Youths have announced their long-awaited third album – along with a massive nationwide tour to celebrate. Inspired by the passing of singer David Le’aupepe‘s father and his love of horticulture, “Angel In Realtime” is a love letter to family and the sacrifices people make along the way for the ones they love.

“My dad was a gifted and passionate gardener. It’s where he funnelled a lot of his energy and sensitivity, and despite our humble economic status, we were always surrounded by beauty,” the singer explained.

“The journey he made from Samoa to NZ to Australia was a difficult and inspiring one, but also fraught with mistakes, regret and terrible choices. I like to think he was building something beautiful,  and pondering what life had given him in spite of his mistakes and concealment. 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.”

Le’aupepe added, “I hope the record stands as a monument to the man my father was and remains long after I’m gone myself. He deserved it.”

“Angel In Realtime” is slated for release 25th February 2022, check out their new single Tend The Garden 

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At this point, there’s no telling the heights Gang of Youths are set to climb. But as they continue to rise, their music is firmly rooted in where they’ve been. The Australian-born, London-based rock band seem to be filling an interesting void between pop-rock and indie, and after dropping the total serene EP earlier this year, are back with another lower-case, bigger-sound single called “the man himself.”

The track finds Gang of Youths singer Dave Le’aupepe meditating on the loss of his father, using his memory as a foundation to power forward and heal. “the man himself” is about grieving and loss, but also provides a compass on how to reflect the past in our future. “If I ever have kids,” Le’aupepe says, “I’m not really sure how to raise them without my dad helping me out.”

This anthemic, almost-hymnal track is a pretty good start. here is ‘the man himself’, a tune from our upcoming record. we love this track. listen out for ‘Imenetuki Mangaia’ at the song’s core, recorded by the wonderful David Fanshawe on the island of Mangaia a lifetime ago. the magnificent indigenous performers are the stars of the song, we can’t thank them enough

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After Re-emerging recently, Gang of Youths have officially released ‘The Angel of 8th Ave’.

Self-produced and recorded in their own studio in Hackney, the single arrives with a Joel Barney-directed music video filmed in the Aussie band’s adopted town of Angel, Islington North London and meets all your charismatic, dancing Dave Le’aupepe needs. 

Built on a surging tempo and gritty bassline ornamented with shiny acoustic strums, Le’aupepe says ‘The Angel of 8th Ave’ was inspired by “falling in love, and finding a new life in a new city together.”

It’s at once an ode to the frontman’s wife and to the band’ relocation to the U.K after 2017 album Go Farther In Lightness made them one of Australia’s most celebrated bands. The track has the same electric indie rock grandiosity of that record, right down to the familiar way Le’aupepe stakes his romance in big poetics:  

You called each of my sorrows by name, and a tide of tender mercies shook my body from the grave in the festival years of our makeshift parade, Through perpetual fall and immeasurable rain.

As far as comebacks go, ‘The Angel of 8th Ave’ plays it relatively safe. But don’t expect that to be entirely the case for Gang Of Youths’ next body of work.

“This is probably the only song that sounds anything like what we used to do, if I’m honest,” Dave Le’aupepe tells us

He confirms that a new project is coming “at some point in the next year or so” and that ‘The Angel of 8th Ave’ was written a few years ago and underwent “15 versions” before landing on what is “about as close to what people would have Gang of Youths as in 2017, when we did our last anything…”

“That’s probably by design. I think easing people who love what you’ve done into something that’s extremely different or could potentially polarise people is what we wanted to do with this track.”

It took me just 37 seconds to realise how great Gang Of Youths when they released their second studio album,album “Go Farther In Lightness” was.  that it would be the album of the year. This album was a game-changer for me and this band. With a nod towards the optimism and kindness the band have found by surviving their various ordeals, this record continues the work that has already so indelibly imprinted on fans across the world. Go Farther In Lightness bears the scars of the band’s painful history, flashing their wounds with the same candor as The Positions but seeking to draw new lessons from their struggle to endure. Attempting to compartmentalise the past five years into 16 tracks is no mean feat, but the band come away with songs which encourage listeners to persevere as they’ve tried to, empathising with those who’ve brushed up against death, suffering and loss every step of the way.

Before Go Farther In Lightness, I hadn’t really paid Gang Of Youths a whole lot of attention but as soon as I heard the opening lines of Fear & Trembling and Dave Le’aupepe’s vocals I knew they were a band for me. At the album’s heart though, it’s Le’aupepe’s candour that draws listeners in and holds them tight. This is the type of music that makes you want to keep living. Even when you feel like all hope is lost.

“Go Farther In Lightness” will also prove that frontman Dave Le’aupepe as one of Australia’s foremost songwriters” and it’s a sentiment I stand by. It’s also become very apparent given the attention the group have received since the album’s August 2017 release. Foo Fighters and Mumford & Sons don’t pick you as stadium tour supports without good reason, you know? Counting Crows’ Adam Duritz also called them the “best fucking band in the world right now”.

This an album of earnest, honest and vivid lyricism from Le’aupepe, paired with striking and varied arrangements from guitarist Joji Malani, keyboardist Jung Kim, bass player Max Dunn and drummer Donnie Borzestowski that draw on everything from Bruce Springsteen to classical music.

”The whole point of Go Farther In Lightness was to make, and is to make, the arc of my life, more or less, about the process of repairing, the process of being more human, more empathic, more authentic to myself, more aware of the people around me, more aware of the world. To open myself back up to love and back up to life and try to negate the things in me that are life negating.”

Last year they broke venue records in Australia with their epic Say Yes To Life tour, which saw 21 shows, the launch of their own festival and thousands of people in attendance.