For the second time today (July 15), an artist has followed a strong June single with a surprise EP. First it was Yves Tumor, and now it’s Australian rockers Gang of Youths, whose stellar comeback track “the angel of 8th ave.” opens their total serene EP, out now on Warner Records.
Brief at just three tracks, total serene features “the angel of 8th ave.,” a cover of Elbow’s 2002 tune “asleep in the back” and a new original song, “unison.” It’s “unison” that “signposts Gang Of Youths’ future,” as a press release puts it—programmed drums, banjo backing, strings, horns, synths and samples of indigenous Pacific music all unify around a lovely melody, combining sweeping scope with intimate emotion.
Frontman David Le’aupepe says of “unison” in a statement:
“unison” is a deeply important track for us that really signals where the music is headed on the new record. I conceived the song in Samoa, my ancestral homeland. Here we sample and introduce the work of David Fanshawe, who travelled to the Pacific Islands in the 1980s and recorded the most extensive library of indigenous Pacific music anywhere in the world.
Gang of Youths—that is, Le’aupepe, Max Dunn (bass), Jung Kim (guitar, keyboards), Donnie Borzestowski (drums) and Tom Hobden (keyboards, guitar, violin)—self-produced the total serene EP in their studio in London, where they’ve been based since 2017. The band formed in Sydney in 2011, and have released two albums (2015’s The Positions and 2017’s Go Farther in Lightness) and two EPs (including 2016’s Let Me Be Clear and today’s total serene) to date. “More to come though, so don’t worry,” Gang of Youths teased in a tweet this morning.
You can stream/buy the total serene EP here and see its details down below.
total serene EP Tracklist:
1. the angel of 8th ave.
2. asleep in the back (Elbow cover)
total serene EP Art: