Monday, October 25, 2021

Turning to optimism in dark times, Gang of Youths release new single ‘the man himself’

Australian rock band Gang of Youths have released their latest single ‘the man himself’, an ode to frontman Dave Le’aupepe’s late father, accompanied by bandmates Donnie Borzestowski, Max Dunn, Tom Hobden and Jung Kim. The band are well known for their ability to construct lyrics with poetic nuance and this track is no exception as it tackles grief with abstract metaphors and symbolism.

The single opens with a brightening levity, starting with a collection of stringed instruments creating a gentle symphony, transforming into a faster paced more electronic sounding overlay – in a fluid and wave-like way. There is something grand about the stylistic decisions, a Heavenly drawl – which accompanies the subject matter perfectly.

Throughout the new release there is a heavy use of a choir, made up from the voices of the Indigenous Pacific, linking to Le’aupepe’s heritage. Not only does it add gravitas to the production but it also carries through themes of family that link to the overall message of the track, a touching addition that makes the song feel more intimate.


There’s an optimism littered within the lyrics, as if Le’aupepe is taking his own sadness and using it as fuel for what is to come. There is a temporary nature to pain explored within the line - “So take a single step at a simple pace / And the outward momentum will maybe unfuck you in time”. Due to this, the track is a step away from the band’s sometimes more bleak and nihilistic sentiments. But within this song there is a sense that even in the sometimes-endless monotony of negativity, you keep going.


Jessica McCarrick
Image: ‘the man himself’ Official Single Cover


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