Formed in 2012 by long-time friends David Le'aupepe, Joji Malani, Jung Kim and Max Dunn, it was the 2013 release of the critically acclaimed Evangelists – a track produced by Jack Moffit of The Preatures – that saw Gang Of Youths receive substantial online support.
Since then, the Aussie band have 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. Le’aupepe’s wife survived, but the relationship had other problems and Le’aupepe was dragged into self-destruction.
Yet, 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, hyperliterate lyrics. A year later the band released Let Me Be Clear, 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.
Their highly-anticipated sophomore album, Go Farther In Lightness, followed. This new record continues the work that has already so indelibly imprinted on fans across the world. Attempting to compartmentalise the past five years into 16 tracks was no mean feat, but the band came away with songs which encourage listeners to persevere as they’ve tried to, empathising with those who’ve brushed up against death, suffering and loss every step of the way.
Last updated: February, 2019