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Gang of Youths Unveil New Single, ‘the man himself’

A track born out of grief, Gang of Youths have continued their prolific year by way of their latest, emotional single.

Rashidi Noah*

Gang of Youths have continued their prolific year, officially releasing new single “the man himself” this evening.

An overwhelming track which hides pained lyrics beneath an almost joyous exterior, the cinematic single was inspired by frontman Dave Le’aupepe’s experiences with grief in the wake of his father’s passing. Ruminating on the knowledge that while his father’s spirit and influence remains, Le’aupepe must ultimately find his way in the world without that guiding, comforting hand.

A slow-burning track which kicks off with the violin of Tom Hobden, choral influences and sampled field recordings of Indigenous Pacific music captured by David Fanshawe come into play, before the track steps up into gear, with a powerful beat soon giving way to Le’aupepe’s soulful vocals as he addresses a deep pain.

“f I ever have kids I’m not really sure how to raise them without my dad helping me out,” Le’aupepe said in a statement released alongside the single.

The new track follows on from the group’s previous releases in recent months, beginning with the arrival of “the angel of 8th ave.” in June, and the release of their total serene EP the next month, which also featured new single “unison” and a cover of Elbow’s “Asleep in The Back”.

In mid-August, Gang of Youths returned to the stage in London for their first show in 18 months, where Le’aupepe performed a heartfelt rendition of the piano-led “Brothers”, which the singer also noted was inspired by his father’s story.

While “the man himself” is ostensibly set to arrive on the forthcoming new album from Gang of Youths, specific details relating to their third record are currently under wraps, though information is expected to begin arriving in the near future.

Gang of Youths’ “the man himself” is out now.