Gang of Youths ended 2021 with bang, after a big performance of ‘the angel of 8th ave.’ on ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’, touring arenas as special guests to Sam Fender, and playing some rapidly sold-out headline shows. Now the band again pick up the pace for a huge year ahead by sharing their brand new single ‘in the wake of your leave’. The track is the latest to build momentum ahead of the release of their hotly tipped new album ‘angel in realtime.’ on February 25th.
Collectively, ‘angel in realtime.’ charts the waves of emotions that flooded over Dave Le’aupepe following the loss of his father, and ‘in the wake of your leave’ focuses on a very specific aspect of the experience. Overwhelmed, Le’aupepe uses songwriting as an eloquent and poignant outlet for his grief. Yet while you would expect the creative experience to provide a cathartic release, instead he feels constricted by repeatedly gravitating to the same topic.
In contrast to its introspective lyrics, sonically ‘in the wake of your leave’ couldn’t feel more uplifting. Gang of Youths convert sorrow into a song that burns with life-affirming, whole-hearted passion – from its exuberant rush to its bright, colossal melodies and its addictive, radio-friendly hook. And in one of the band’s most striking hallmarks, it still shimmers with a remarkable attention to detail: the elegiac backing harmonies of the Auckland Gospel Choir; the percussion provided by a collective of drummers from the Cook Islands; and Tom Hobden’s stirring string arrangements.
Dave Le’aupepe says, “I wanted to reflect on how I became dependent on grief for solace and inspiration. The cycle from numbness to acceptance to yearning plays a role in my approach to grieving my dad’s death. As a result, most of the time, I feel a bit futile as a person.”
‘in the wake of your leave’ and the band’s other recent singles are seeing Gang of Youths elevate their international profile, especially in the UK and the US. On these shores, the new songs have resulted in support from Radio 1, while Radio X nominated ‘the angel of 8th ave.’ for their Record of the Year.
The album’s conceptual themes are amplified by Gang of Youths’ ever more ambitious musical approach. Their influences range from American minimalism and contemporary classical, to drawing upon the legacy of Britain’s alternative/indie scenes, such as drum ‘n’ bass to the most transcendent moments of Britpop. It’s equally rooted in Le’aupepe’s Polynesian heritage, featuring samples from David Fanshawe’s recordings of indigenous music from the Polynesian islands and the wider South Pacific, as well as contributions from a cast of talented Pasifika and Māori vocalists and instrumentalists.
‘angel in realtime.’ is available to pre-order here. Formats include digital, double white vinyl and CD, while HMV and select independent stores offer a special edition of the vinyl which feature an alternate cover.
Gang of Youths recently announced the following UK and European headline dates in support of ‘angel in realtime.’ They then tour North America in April and May ahead of summer festival season. They’re also confirmed for Glasgow’s TRSMT Festival on July 10th alongside Lewis Capaldi, Wolf Alice, DMA’S and many more. Please see their official website for ticket details and a full list of their international shows.
3rd – Ireland, Dublin, Button Factory (SOLD OUT)
5th – UK, Newcastle, Riverside
6th – UK, Glasgow, Barrowland Ballroom
8th – UK, Leeds, Beckett University
9th – UK, Bristol, O2 Academy
12th – UK, Birmingham, O2 Institute 2 (SOLD OUT)
13th – UK, Manchester, Albert Hall
15th – UK, London, O2 Academy Brixton