After hitting the Top 10 with their critically acclaimed new album ‘angel in realtime.’, Gang of Youths have just completed a UK tour which included their biggest sold-out London headline show to date at the O2 Academy Brixton. It received four-star reviews from The Times and NME, who described it as, “a victory lap in their newly-adopted hometown.” Now the band share their first Amazon Original, an orchestral version of the album’s centrepiece ‘spirit boy’, available exclusively on Amazon Music.
Already a moving paean to frontman Dave Le’aupepe’s late father, the emotional majesty of this new version of ‘spirit boy’ is elevated by the band’s collaboration with lead orchestrator Rosie Danvers, whose previous credits include Adele, Coldplay and Kanye West. Building upwards from the plaintive sorrow of Le’aupepe’s opening words, their stately strings and beautifully beguiling brass accentuate the song’s cathartic release. It’s an accomapiment that dramatically enhances the song’s whole-hearted final flourish after Le’aupepe sings, “I wanna live like it’s worth something in time, I gotta give it time.”
As a song in which London is an essential part of its story, it’s fitting this orchestral version was recorded and filmed in AIR Studios, one of the capital’s most beautiful and storied studios.
Gang of Youths commented, “It was truly a dream come true for us five to be invited to AIR studios to record one of our songs with such an extraordinary group of musicians; particularly working with Rosie Danvers and seeing her bring the song and its many parts to life in her orchestral arrangement. we are grateful for the opportunity.”
The original version of ‘spirit boy’ features on the ‘angel in realtime.’ album. 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 has seen Gang of Youths make a huge step forward since they relocated to London. Their recent achievements highlights include 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
Gang of Youths’ live plans for year ahead include tours of North America, Europe (including Glasgow’s TRNMT festival on July 10th) and Australia, where they will launch their own curated festival, A More Perfect Union, in August. Please see their website for a full list of international dates and ticket information.