Gang of Youths release surprise 3-track EP total serene, showcasing a subtle update to their all-encompassing sound.
Gang of Youths are one of those bands that can just bring a smile to your face. With the excellent Go Farther in Lightness released which seems like an eternity ago back in 2017, fans have been gagging for a new full-length, and finally we could be on the right track with the surprise release of new 3-track EP, total serene. Currently residing in the UK and with a tour on the cards soon, the EP offers a look into their more tailored sound that doesn’t lose any of the candidness and beauty that made them famous.
Starting with the angel of 8th ave. is the perfect introduction to the band’s evolved sound, still keeping those catchy rhythms, heavy beats, and poetic lyrics of Go Farther in Lightness but adding in a more cinematic feel that’s heightened as Le’aupepe’s vocals get more intense. The band has a penchant to create instantly addictive flows and soundscapes and that skill hasn’t been lost here. Le’aupepe has also lost none of his verve and guile as his lyrics are thrown out in his deep yet welcoming style that creates dense imagery and a story you want to follow: “So went out to find me a job But I didn’t think I would hold this one down It gives the same old sinking feeling Of fucking hammers in my bowels”.
The band bravely use a cover as the second track on the EP in Elbow’s asleep in the back. They’ve always made known their appreciation of Doves and the 2002 classic is updated in a delightful way, perfectly fitting into the poetic explorative sound of Gang of Youths. As gentle piano serenades the listener, we see another side to the band that is more gentle and reflective with the song slowly coming out of its shell as it progresses.
Ending on unison allows the band to explore themes of love’s salvation which are also touched upon in asleep in the back, but here feels a lot more mystical and chanced upon. The strings add to the atmosphere of wonder and allow the track to build to a crescendo of sound and show off a real understanding of song creation.
The EP may be short, but it demonstrates just what Gang of Youths are capable of and what to expect from their next full-length. It will leave fans wanting much much more but also shows that Le’aupepe et al have more great ideas to share with the world.