Label: Warner Music UK
Formed in Australia and now residing in London, Gang Of Youths are quickly making a name for themselves. Total Serene is their new EP and the first new music released by the five piece since their second album ‘Go Farther In Lightness’ in 2017.
Running at only three tracks long it’s only a small taster but Gang Of Youths make it count. First track, ‘The Angel Of 8th Ave.’, is an explosion of joy and energy that doesn’t let up. With acoustic guitar setting the base and driving the song forward, it allows the electric guitar to dance around with the synth creating multiple layers that collide together. The second track is a cover of Elbow’s ‘Asleep In The Back’ which itself is approaching it’s 20th anniversary. Although it’s more of a refresh than a reinvention of the song, it feels like a Gang Of Youths song and doesn’t stand out like a cover usually would. A beautiful song when it was released the first time around, Gang Of Youths have kept it subtle and light and retained that beauty in the music and in Le’aupepe’s vocals.
The final track on ‘Total Serene’ is ‘Unison’ which feels like the ending this small EP deserves. It seems to take influence from Elbow and almost serves as a second part to their cover. Lyrically it compliments the themes in the other tracks from ‘Total Serene’ in its exploration of love and its ability to unite and change people. Featuring everything from banjo to violins to trumpets, all instruments work in harmony to create a thing of beauty.
With a first half that has a softness to it that feels like the sea lapping at your feet on a hot day, the second half feels like a celebration. As the drums come to life, a sample of indigenous pacific music plays underneath to compliment the music and it adds yet another layer that compliments the song perfectly. The song builds constantly throughout, adding new parts but never feeling overburdened. Just a beautiful song, beautifully put together.
Although just a small taste of the band’s sound, it is a delightfully fulfilling experience. It’s a calling card to their fans, promoters, and music industry as a whole that they are worthy of headline status, something that the band are destined for.