GO FARTHER IN LIGHTNESS OUT NOW VIA RED MUSIC
Photo Credit: Maclay Heriot
It’s been a colossal year for Sydney five-piece Gang of Youths. The band released their sophomore album Go Farther In Lightness to critical acclaim, played to sold-out rooms and arenas across the world, graced the cover of Rolling Stone (AUS), and it all culminated in major wins at Australia’s ARIA Awards last week. Gang of Youths came away with a total of four awards including Best Group, Best Album, Producer Of The Year and the prestigious Apple Music Album Of The Year. The wins follow an already impressive 8 nominations, cementing their status as one of Australia’s leading rock bands. Now, the band sets their sights on North America. The band has today announced a run of 2018 dates that will see them play NYC, LA, Chicago, DC, Toronto and more. A full rundown can be found below.
Zane Lowe recently spoke of Gang of Youths on his Beats1 show, saying the album “absolutely blew my mind. I put it on, and I didn’t stop, the entire time. The honesty, the poetry, the power of the production. The music. This is rock n roll. This is real spirited music right here. If we have our way, this is going to be huge, not just here in Australia, but everywhere. My mind has been blown by that record… blown!”
Described as a healing record, Go Farther In Lightness is a symbolic nod towards the optimism and kindness the band have found by surviving their various ordeals. This new record continues the work that has already so indelibly imprinted on fans across the world, and bears the scars of the band’s painful history while seeking to draw new lessons from their struggle to endure.
Go Farther In Lightness came in at #16 on Uproxx’s 50 Best Albums of 2017 list, they noted, “Go Farther In Lightness demands to be loved with a white-hot fervor that burns hotter than 100 suns, or disparaged as pretentious and bloated with extreme prejudice. The only crime is overlooking it.”
Gang of Youths have also just released a new video for single “The Heart Is A Muscle” which was shot in Australia during their sold out tour and captures their renowned live performance.
Watch Gang of Youths perform "The Heart Is A Muscle" Live in Australia
Go Farther In Lightness will be released on vinyl via Red Music in the US this March in line with the tour dates.
Upcoming North American Tour Dates:
3.14.18 – 3.17.18 – SXSW – Austin, TX
3.19.18 – The Basement – Nashville, TN
3.20.18 – The Earl – Atlanta, GA
3.23.18 – Underground Arts – Philadelphia, PA
3.24.18 – Union Stage – Washington, DC
3.25.18 – Bowery Ballroom – New York, NY
3.28.18 – Velvet Underground – Toronto, ON
3.29.18 – The Loving Touch – Detroit, MI
3.30.18 – Subterranean – Chicago, IL
3.31.18 – 7th Street Entry – Minneapolis, MN
5.21.18 – The Moroccan Lounge – Los Angeles, CA
5.22.18 – Bottom of the Hill – San Francisco, CA
5.24.18 – Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR
5.26.18 – Fox Cabaret – Vancouver, BC
5.29.18 – Kilby Court – Salt Lake City, UT
5.30.18 – Globe Hall – Denver, CO
Upcoming AUS Tour Dates:
12.16.18 – Making Gravy with Paul Kelly – Melbourne, AU
2.09.18 – Party in the Paddock – Tasmania, AU
2.16.18 – Mountain Sounds Festival – Kariong, AU
2.17.18 – Bird In Hand – Adelaide, AU
2.24.18 – Sydney City Limits – Sydney, AU
Upcoming European Tour Dates:
5.8.18 – Gorilla – Manchester, UK
5.9.18 – Institute 3 – Birmingham, UK
5.10.18 – Thekla – Bristol, UK
5.12.18 – O2 Forum Kentish Town – London, UK
5.13.18 – The Haunt – Brighton, UK
Go Farther In Lightness Tracklist:
1. Fear and Trembling
2. What Can I Do If The Fire Goes Out?
3. Atlas Drowned
4. Keep Me In The Open
5. Do Not Let Your Spirit Wane
ii) Go Farther In Lightness
6. Achilles Come Down
iii) Le Symbolique
8. Let Me Down Easy
9. The Heart Is A Muscle
iv) Le Réel
10. The Deepest Sighs, The Frankest Shadows
11. Our Time Is Short
12. Say Yes To Life
The holiness of love, the chaos and rapture of surviving against all odds, these are what drive Gang of Youths. A five piece from Sydney founded in the confines of their religious youth, enchanted by the spectacle of worship and deliverance, it’s no wonder their music burns with the desperation of apocalypse. With singer Dave Le’aupepe’s lyrics drawn from some of the most miserable life experiences available to humanity, and the band’s music taking cues from rock history’s most ambitious and theatrical preachers, Gang of Youths drag the beauty out of everything from hell to high heaven.
Debuting in 2013 with smoldering single “Evangelists,” they were met with instant radio play and praise. Only just out of high school, Le’aupepe was already planning to marry his girlfriend, settle down, and leave his dreams of music behind, but the band’s first brush with recognition suggested there could be more to life than the path that had seemed so obviously laid before him. Things moved quickly: the band started their own record label, Mosy Recordings, got snatched up for really great support slots with Vampire Weekend, Foster The People, Manchester Orchestra, Frightened Rabbit. But as soon as the band let themselves get their hopes up, Le’aupepe would begin the worst period of his life.
Le’aupepe’s soon-to-be wife was diagnosed with lung cancer after a melanoma on her ear metastasized. He began writing the songs that would eventually become their debut record so she had something to listen to in hospital. After they married, the band went into a studio in New York to track the new record. Working with producer Kevin McMahon (Swans, Rhett Miller, Titus Andronicus) and with Peter Katis (The National, Local Natives, Frightened Rabbit) mixing, they’d assembled a dream team – just one of the peaks that would contrast against the tragedy unfolding in Le’aupepe’s life.
Le’aupepe’s wife survived, but the relationship had other problems. Struggling to balance his commitments to the band – his closest friends – against his commitments to his marriage, unable to enjoy success with one while the other was breaking down, and feeling unworthy of happiness, Le’aupepe was dragged into self-destruction. “I was secretive, unkind, abusing drink and drugs,” Le’aupepe says. The breakdown of his marriage and later attempted suicide were where Dave finally bottomed out, but the rest of the band were there to help him climb back up. “I don’t ever wanna be unkind again,” Le’aupepe says. “I’ll spend the rest of my life repaying them for sticking with me.”
Out of all that trauma and regret, Gang of Youths drew The Positions. Praised worldwide for its sincerity and nuance, blending the melodrama of rock’s greatest traditions with piercing, hyper-literate lyrics, The Positions demolished any lingering notions of a pop/alternative dichotomy. Dave was also finding a new lease on life, finding strength in the band and the women in his family, including his young niece whose middle name, Magnolia, was taken from the title of The Positions’ most triumphant song.
Debuting at #5 on the ARIA Charts and embraced by Australian youth tastemaker triple j, The Positions became the soundtrack for the Australian winter in 2015, with the band embarking on a national tour to support the record. It was the first time much of the country was seeing Gang of Youths up close, and they were charmed in every state. Reports praised their thumping live sets for living up to their songs’ stadium-sized ambitions, stating that the band were a guaranteed success.
A year later the band released Let Me Be Clear EP, following on the success of their 2014 five-ARIA-Award-nominated debut album The Positions. Addressing similar themes of loss and heartbreak trumped by togetherness, the EP also showed the band expanding their scope with sweeping string arrangements and renewed dedication to songs as epic declarations of feeling. The band hoped to achieve admirable and genuine things with this new release, as said by Leau’pepe, “I want to make the most hopeful, life-affirming music possible. We want listeners to feel affirmed, to feel hopeful, and feel more. That’s the most important thing we want to accomplish.”
Once again scoring glowing praise across the board, Let Me Be Clear cemented Gang of Youths as mainstays of the Australian music landscape. After the success of their UK, European and USA tour, Gang Of Youths came back to Australian shores and rocked crowds and critics alike with stellar performances at Byron Bay’s Splendour In The Grass and St. Jerome’s Laneway, featuring songs from Let Me Be Clear, and also teasing fans with a taste of their highly-anticipated sophomore album Go Farther In Lightness.