Aussie rockers Gang of Youths are back with their first release since their award-winning second album Go Farther in Lightness. New single the angel of 8th avenue is the culmination of 4 years and a relocation to London for the band, but it also represents a new era and a new sound for the quintet, and I couldn’t be more on board with this new direction.
The angel of 8th avenue takes it’s main cues from legendary indie rockers of the band’s new UK scene. Bands like Joy Division and New Order’s influence on this track are clear. Lead singer Dave Le’aupepe sounds eerily familiar in delivery to Joy Division’s Ian Curtis, with Le’aupepe adapting his lyrical stylings for this new era for the band. The result is a more narrative, story-driven approach with a sound not too dissimilar to a cut from The National’s discography, if a little more upbeat than that band’s typical offering.
The song is a driving but easy listen, it is both uplifting and devastating. There is hope behind it, a hope of growing and thriving in a new city and a new scene, which is a feeling many people, especially of younger generations, can relate to heavily. It takes many turns on it’s narrative journey and touches on many of the anxieties a person in a new place would have: finding a job, meeting new people, missing old friends and family and just generally being accepted. It is reminiscent of the seminal LCD Soundsystem track All My Friends in the way the track builds momentum to an absolute crescendo of a finish where Le’aupape chants “there is heaven in you now”, representing an acceptance and a bliss in the band’s new place and new environment.
The band itself has grown exponentially in their time together, graduating from small venues to strings of sell-out shows. This year they are slated to appear alongside Foals and Bombay Bicycle Club at All Points East festival, as well as acting as main support for Sam Fender for his upcoming, sell-out arena tour.
This track cements the band as one of the most exciting bands in the UK right now. It is a soaring, fearless track that is brimming with the confidence of a band that knows it is going places. Gang of Youths are about to go global in a big way, and I cannot wait.
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Article By Matthew Codd