Gang of Youths ended 2021 with a bang, returning to late night TV with their performance of “the angel of 8th ave.” on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert as well as a run of sold out shows overseas. Now the band again pick up the pace for a huge year ahead by sharing their new single “in the wake of your leave.” The track is the latest to build momentum ahead of the release of their highly anticipated new album angel in realtime. on February 25th.
Collectively, angel in realtime. charts the waves of emotions that flooded over frontman Dave Le’aupepe following the loss of his father. Overwhelmed, Le’aupepe uses songwriting as an eloquent and poignant outlet for his grief. “in the wake of your leave” converts sorrow into a song that burns with life-affirming, 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.
Of the song, 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.”
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 filmed live versions of album track “the man himself” as well as fan favorite “Magnolia” from the band’s 2015 debut album, The Positions. Gang of Youths recently announced a North American tour in April and May ahead of summer festival season.