Gang of Youths
Photo by Ed Cooke

Gang of Youths have finally announced the upcoming release of their new album angel in realtime with the release of its rapturous third single “tend the garden.” A jubilant ode to frontman Dave Le’aupepe’s late father that sees him eulogize the man’s passion for gardening alongside attempts to comprehend the vast wonder and pain he’d wrought while alive. Between the ecstatic patter of earnest percussion raps, sublime piano tumbles, the blaring of beatific horns and saxes — Le’aupepe, bathed in arduous affection for his father, attempts to weave the magic of his life into the song. While the visualizer that joins the single features a candid snap of Le’aupepe’s father looking up at the camera, knees and hands in the dirt, a shovel scattered nearby, and a wheelbarrow beside him, a smile growing on his face.

“tend the garden,” along with previously released singles “the angel of 8th ave.” and “the man himself,” have revealed an eclectic new direction for Gang of Youths. While their previous albums were not without a little experimentation, mingling their penchant for dense lyricism and rowdy rock with other genres, their recent previews of angel in realtime are vastly harder to pin down — and they’re all the better for it. The album will also continue to explore and feature Le’aupepe’s Samoan heritage, with tracks containing samples of David Fanshawe’s recordings of indigenous music from the Polynesian islands and the greater South Pacific, as well as Pasifika and Māori vocalists and instrumentalists contributing to its songs.

“My dad was a gifted and passionate gardener. It’s where he funnelled a lot of his energy and sensitivity, and despite our humble surroundings, we were always enveloped by beauty. The journey he made from Samoa to Aotearoa to Australia was a difficult and inspiring one, but also fraught with mistakes, regret and terrible choices. I like to think he was building something beautiful,  and pondering what life had given him in spite of his mistakes and concealment. We never knew his story until after he died, so this is the most poetic interpretation of his affinity for gardening that I could think of.”

Gang of Youths’ new album angel in realtime is out February 25, pre-order it here. The band will also be going on tour for the album with a stop at the Belasco Theatre in Los Angeles on May 18. Visit Gang of Youths’ website, Twitter, and Instagram to stay updated on new releases and tour announcements.

Listen to Gang of Youths’ new single “tend the garden” below!