Heralding in their third studio album ‘angel in real time’, Gang Of Youths have cemented themselves as one of Australia’s leading alt-rock acts. Upgrading to arena status, this Sydney raised and now London based five piece have welcomed listeners into a cinematically scored soundscape of emotional reflections.
Inspired by the loss of frontman Dave Le’aupepe’s father, the record explores grief, loss, Indigenous identity, and religion. It also plays as a tribute to his family heritage with samples and original instrumentation from the Polynesian islands and the wider South Pacific. Their music has always had a very cinematic fusion of production with strings and big harmonies, but this record dives further into this soundscape.
The album opens with the beautifully penned ‘you in everything’ which almost acts as an overture to what the record will cover. Exploring the complexities of grief and loss, Le’aupepe sings the heartbreakingly raw lyrics; “I still need you in everything”, “I will hear you in everything”, “I will feel you in everything” and “I will see you in everything”. But it’s the self-deprecation that follows which is brutally honest and raw. “How do I face the world? Or raise a fuckin’ kid? Or see beauty in the Earth and all its majesty replete When I’ve spent the better part of my twenties doing self-indulgent bullshit on repeat?”. From there the album feels like a journey that needs to be experienced from start to finish to really capture the full vision and understanding it deserves.
Exclusively speaking to Australian media over zoom from London, Dave Le’aupepe and Max Dunn explained the complexity of emotions, thoughts, and musical precision behind this record. ThomasBleach.com got to ask them a question about one of our favourite songs on the record, and its heavy emotions and transparency.
THOMAS BLEACH: In ‘returner’ you poignantly sing, “I’ve not been in the greatest place. Think I will get better. I dunno”. Was there a power in singing that? or was it quite confronting and emotional to sing that out loud?
DAVE LE’AUPEPE: That particular line came from a pretty desperate and bizarre time in my life. I don’t know if there was actually power behind it, I think it actually felt pretty weak. It was an acknowledgement of a perennial human weakness. It’s a shared weakness, I’m just announcing it plainly to my father and needing his guidance and care. I don’t feel empowerment by telling people how shitty I feel as it doesn’t take much for me to be self-deprecating. If I’m this much of a prick when I’m self deprecating, then you can just imagine if I believed the hype *laughs*. I guess the power is in feeling comfortable enough to express it, but not necessarily singing it as I felt weak and shit about it. I lived in that place. I’d like to say it gave me a grand boost in my confidence but unfortunately it sort of just reminded me of this ancient perennial weakness that invades us all.
Purchase the album and exclusive bundles HERE
GANG OF YOUTHS AUSTRALIAN TOUR
Saturday 30 July – RAC Arena, Perth
Wednesday 3 August – Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Adelaide
Saturday 6 August – Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney
Friday 12 August – Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
Sunday 14 August – Regatta Grounds, Tasmania *
Saturday 20 August – Sandstone Point Hotel, Bribie Island *
* A More Perfect Union festival date
Visit HERE for full touring and ticketing details