Gang of Youths today announce their eagerly anticipated album angel in realtime set for release February 25th via Warner Records. The band is also excited to announce an extensive North American tour that will see them playing Brooklyn, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and more. See below for a full rundown.
Gang of Youths explain, “the album is about the life and legacy of Dave Le’aupepe’s father, indigenous identity, death, grief and God. And also the Angel, Islington.”
Despite and indeed because of lead singer Le’aupepe’s father’s absence, his influence permeates every talking point that the album has to offer. At times it’s solely focused upon the precise, personal experiences of loss: the dichotomy of intensity and peace that comes as someone passes through their final days; the overwhelming feeling in the wake of their death that life will never be the same, even if the rest of the world at large remains utterly unchanged.
Following their recent singles, “the angel of 8th ave.,” telling of falling in love in a new city and making a home in another, and “the man himself,” a song created around a sample recording from the island of Mangaia in the Cook Islands that is about living without the guiding hand of your own father, they release “tend the garden.”
Le’aupepe said, “My dad was a gifted and passionate gardener. It’s where he funnelled a lot of his energy and sensitivity, and despite our humble surroundings, we were always enveloped by beauty. The journey he made from Samoa to Aotearoa to Australia was a difficult and inspiring one, but also fraught with mistakes, regret and terrible choices. I like to think he was building something beautiful, and pondering what life had given him in spite of his mistakes and concealment. We never knew his story until after he died, so this is the most poetic interpretation of his affinity for gardening that I could think of.”
Although the album is eclectic – influences range from American minimalism and contemporary classical, to drawing upon the legacy of Britain’s alternative/indie scenes, from drum ‘n’ bass to the most transcendent moments of Britpop — it’s equally rooted in Le’aupepe’s Samoan heritage, with the majority of tracks featuring samples from David Fanshawe’s recordings of indigenous music from the Polynesian islands and the wider South Pacific. angel in realtime. also features contributions from a cast of talented Pasifika and Māori vocalists and instrumentalists.
Le’aupepe says, “I hope the record stands as a monument to the man my father was and remains long after I’m gone myself. He deserved it.”
angel in realtime. will be released on digital, double white vinyl and CD and is now available to pre-order here.
Photo Courtesy: Edward Cooke