Gang of Youths released their latest album angel in realtime. last month to critical acclaim. Billboard described it as “brimming with optimism, guts and heart.” Next month, they’ll make their way to the US and perform at Mercury Ballroom on April 25. The album is about identity – specifically, mixed-race frontman David Le’aupepe’s relationship with his Polynesian, Samoan Identity following the death of his father and the shocking revelations of his the patriarch’s previous life as a poor, indentured worker in New Zealand as part of the Polynesian Migrant Worker’s Scheme. Leaving behind a family Le’aupepe only just found out about, his father moved to Australia where he reinvented himself as a much younger man, abandoning his Samoan heritage and starting anew. The album tracks Le’aupepe’s grieving process, as he goes on a mission to reclaim his indiginous identity for himself, and connecting with the family he didn’t know he had. All while feeling half-pacific, never fully. Not white, but not fully Samoan.
Their live show is insane. The last chance they performed in the U.S. and at SXSW, media had this to say about their show:
Big, bold guitar rock isn’t dead quite yet, and this Australian export is proof. Gang Of Youths makes bellowing, grandiose rock music. “What Can I Do If The Fire Goes Out,” as NPR Music’s Stephen Thompson puts it, would blow the roof off a stadium or the moon. – NPR
I don’t think any band exceeded my expectations this week more than Gang of Youths did. They sound like an ambitious rock band on their latest album, but the live show nearly doubles that ambition. They already seem like they should be playing to crowds 10 times as big as they played to on Saturday, and they don’t hold back one bit from playing like the rock stars they deserve to be. – Brooklyn Vegan
Gang of Youths frontman David Le’aupepe drafts epic, angst-riddled rock, the kind that transcends into the dramas of adulthood like Craig Finn or Matt Berninger at their most aggressive. – Austin Chronicle
This Sydney quintet seems capable of playing arenas one day, with its Springsteen-ian roar-rock and its frontman’s exuberant antics, including running through the crowd mid-song. – Minneapolis Star Tribune