Gang of Youths have today released their new album ‘angel in realtime.’ via Warner Records. The album’s release caps a remarkable few months for the band. Highlights have included the single ‘in the wake of your leave’ being picked as Greg James’ Tune of the Week at Radio 1, playlists at Radio 1 and Radio 2, selling-out a string of headline shows, hitting arenas as guests to Sam Fender, and being highlighted in NME’s Big Read cover feature.
Jack Saunders has championed Gang of Youths and hailed ‘in the wake of your leave’ as “one of the most stunning examples of just how good their new record is going to be.” ‘angel in realtime.’ more than lives up to that praise. Inspired by the loss of frontman Dave Le’aupepe’s father, it’s a record which channels its emotional intensity and existential questions into an exploratory sonic tapestry that touches upon everything from Britpop and post-punk to American minimalism and contemporary classical.
The album features all the big moments that have soundtracked Gang of Youths’ rise, including ‘the angel of 8th ave.’, ‘unison’, ‘the man himself’, ‘tend the garden’ and ‘in the wake of your leave.’ The album’s previously unreleased tracks provide plenty more, with an experimental hybrid of contemporary American minimalism, and electronica on ‘you in everything’, the 2-step and big beat rhythms of ‘the kingdom is within you’, and the cathartic conclusion provided by the sweeping, multi-textured ‘goal of the century’.
New single ‘spirit boy’ is the beating heart of ‘angel in realtime.’ The song features Shane McLean, a musician specialising in Taonga Pūoro (the traditional instrumentation and music culture of the Māori people) and contributes spoken word. Le’aupepe recalls:
“We were fortunate to have Shane McLean, an outstanding musician and Taonga Pūoro facilitator, write and perform a spoken verse in Te Reo Māori. A wonderful Māori woman performed ‘rongoā’ on me — a sacred healing practice. It was a transformative experience, and I’m still not quite sure why. There was a moment when this wonderful woman looked at me and said ‘you’re a wairua boy’ — wairua in Te Reo means something like ‘spirit’.”
Dave Le’aupepe has channelled every drop of emotion into Gang of Youths’ most personal album to date. For the band, which features multi-instrumentalists Jung Kim, Tom Hobden, Max Dunn and Donnie Borzestowski, the decision to rent an old warehouse space in Hackney, London and self-produce the record was absolutely vital.
‘angel in realtime.’ is available to buy here. A beautifully animated zoetrope vinyl format of the album sold-out within days, but collectors and hardcore fans can still grab editions including a double-white vinyl with an alternate sleeve from key indie stores, or a selection of bundles and merch which are packaged with a signed art card.
RECORD STORE PERFORMANCES – FEBRUARY
25th – Kingston, Banquet Records at The Fighting Cocks (SOLD OUT)
28th – Manchester, HMV – tickets remaining
28th – Leeds, Jumbo (SOLD OUT)
March 1st – London, Rough Trade East (SOLD OUT)
MARCH – HEADLINE TOUR
3rd – Ireland, Dublin, Button Factory (SOLD OUT)
5th – UK, Newcastle, Riverside (SOLD OUT)
6th – UK, Glasgow, Barrowland Ballroom
8th – UK, Leeds, Beckett University (SOLD OUT)
9th – UK, Bristol, O2 Academy
12th – UK, Birmingham, O2 Institute 2 (SOLD OUT)
13th – UK, Manchester, Albert Hall
15th – UK, London, O2 Academy Brixton