Gang Of Youths’ recent EP ‘total serene’ represented a rebirth for the band following their relocation to London. Its singles, the Top 10 US Radio hit ‘the angel of 8th ave.’ and ‘unison’, signalled their growing creativity and ambition, an approach which has boosted their profile on both sides of the Atlantic. The journey continues today as Gang Of Youths unveil their new single ‘the man himself.’
That journey continues today as Gang of Youths unveil their new single ‘the man himself’.
‘the man himself’ finds frontman Dave Le’aupepe meditating on the loss of his father. It’s a disorientated experience in which he’s overwhelmed and dislocated by grief. Yet while things will never be the same, he also realises that he needs to find his own way in the world without the help of that guiding, comforting hand. But the memory will remain, as present in the moment as the painting of Le’aupepe’s father that hangs in his kitchen.
Those pained lyrics are homed in a song which exudes a far more positive feel. Emerging from the grand, cinematic aspect of the band’s sonic spectrum, it’s full of creative touches from the moment Tom Hobden’s violin provides a scene-setting introduction. From the pulse-racing beat to the atmospheric piano breakdown and a typically whole-hearted hook, it finds Gang of Youths continuing to explore new dimensions to their sound. As with ‘unison’, ‘the man himself’ features sampled field recordings of indigenous Pacific music captured by David Fanshawe. And in a song about loss, they possess a pure and elative hymnal quality.
Dave Le’aupepe commented, “If I ever have kids I’m not really sure how to raise them without my dad helping me out.”
Grief, death, faith and the life and legacy of Dave’s father are themes paralleled in all their recent tracks. The grief of losing a parent has been described as a turning point, an insurmountable obstacle and a part-emptiness in perpetuity for life that has led Le’aupepe through his own journey of discovery, especially that of his Pacific/Māori identity. Re-establishing a strong collective solidarity and a sense of common identity as Pacific/Maori people has found itself intricately wound into each track with the field recordings of David Fanshawe, as well as through the single cover art, which drew abstract inspiration from Fanshawe’s own cover art.
Gang of Youths produced ‘the man himself’ in their own studio space in Hackney.
Gang of Youths have made a big return to touring this summer. A sold-out underplay headline show at London’s Lafayette was streamed live on TikTok, while acclaimed sets at All Points East and the Neighbourhood Weekender included the first two public performances of ‘the man himself’. The band are now set to be introduced to an even bigger audience as guests to Sam Fender on his upcoming arena tour, which is complemented with select headline shows. All 40,000 tickets for the five Sam Fender shows are already sold-out.
15th – Nottingham, Rescue Rooms (SOLD OUT HEADLINE SHOW)
18th – Newcastle, Utilita Arena (with Sam Fender)
20th – London, Alexandra Palace (with Sam Fender)
21st – London, Alexandra Palace (with Sam Fender)
23rd – Glasgow, SWG3 Studio Warehouse (SOLD OUT HEADLINE SHOW)
24th – Leeds, First Direct Arena (with Sam Fender)
25th – Cardiff, Motorpoint Arena (with Sam Fender)
29th – Brighton, Old Market Theatre (SOLD OUT HEADLINE SHOW)
30th – Bristol, Trinity (SOLD OUT HEADLINE SHOW)