Gang of Youths have provided a final taster of their album, angel in realtime. before its Friday release, in the form of their new track, “spirit boy.” The song features Shane McLean, a musician specializing in Taonga Pūoro (the traditional instrumentation and music culture of the Māori people) and contributes spoken word.
Of the song, Dave Le’aupepe recalls, “We were fortunate to have Shane McLean, an outstanding musician and Taonga Pūoro facilitator, write and perform a spoken verse in Te Reo Māori. A wonderful Māori woman performed “rongoā” on me — a sacred healing practice. It was a transformative experience, and I’m still not quite sure why. There was a moment when this wonderful woman looked at me and said “you’re a wairua boy” — wairua in Te Reo means something like “spirit”.
The album features all the big moments that have soundtracked Gang of Youths’ rise, including “the angel of 8th ave.,” “unison,” “the man himself,” “tend the garden,” and “in the wake of your leave.” The album’s previously unreleased tracks provide plenty more, with an experimental hybrid of contemporary American minimalism, and electronica on “you in everything,” the 2-step and big beat rhythms of “the kingdom is within you,” and the cathartic conclusion provided by the sweeping, multi-textured “goal of the century.”
The record also pays tribute to Le’aupepe’s family heritage, firstly with the band’s pre-pandemic trip to Aotearoa to record with Pasifika and Māori instrumentalists the Anuanua Drummers from the Cook Islands, Shane McClean and the Auckland Gospel Choir. These recordings, together with the extensive sampling of composer and explorer David Fanshawe’s late 1970s field recordings of indigenous Pasifika music give the record a distinctive sense of time and place. When you add to this the 42-piece string section Hobden and Le’aupepe travelled to Budapest to record, the album effectively spans 50 years of collective recording and as many as 7 countries.
Collectors and hardcore fans can grab a double-white vinyl edition of the album with an alternate sleeve from key indie stores, or a selection of bundles and merch which are packaged with a signed art card.
Gang of Youths will commence a major North American tour in April. Tickets are on sale now and a full list of dates can be found below.
2022 North American tour dates:
Apr 21: Madison, WI Majestic Theatre
Apr 22: Indianapolis, IN The Vogue
Apr 24: Columbus, OH Newport Music Hall
Apr 25: Louisville, KY Mercury Ballroom
Apr 27: Carrboro, NC Cat’s Cradle
Apr 28: Charlotte, NC The Underground
May 1: Nashville, TN The Basement East
May 3: Chicago, IL Metro
May 4: Detroit, MI Shelter
May 6: Toronto, ON Danforth Music Hall
May 7: Montreal, QC L’Astral
May 9: Boston, MA Paradise Rock Club
May 10: Brooklyn, NY Brooklyn Steel
May 12: Philadelphia, PA Theatre of the Living Arts
May 13: Washington, DC Union Stage SOLD OUT
May 16: San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
May 18: Los Angeles, CA Belasco Theater
May 20: Las Vegas, NV 24 Oxford
May 21: Phoenix, AZ Crescent Ballroom
May 23: Austin, TX Scoot Inn
May 24: Dallas, TX The Echo Lounge & Music Hall
May 26: Tulsa, OK Cain’s Ballroom
Sep 13: Milwaukee, WI The Rave II
Sep 14: Minneapolis, MN First Avenue – Mainroom
Sep 16: St. Louis, MO Delmar Hall
Sep 17: Lawrence, KS The Bottleneck
Sep 19: Englewood, CO Gothic Theatre
Sep 20: Salt Lake City, UT Urban Lounge
Sep 22: Portland, OR Revolution Hall
Sep 23: Vancouver, BC Rickshaw Theatre
Sep 25: Seattle, WA Neumos
Sep 27: Sacramento, CA Ace of Spades