"Sydney’s Gang Of Youths are one of the most thrilling and emotive live acts in music today" - NME
"The Positions is a work of art that deserves nothing less than admiration – take a bow Gang Of Youths, take a bow." - 8.5/10 BEST BEFORE
"Some of the most empowering sentiments to be found in modern rock music." - THE MUSIC
"Astonishing LP, a record so emotionally bruised & honest." - 4.5/5 ROLLING STONE
"A killer collection…Life is very real and poignantly captured on this debut.” - NOISEY
"Gang Of Youths have delivered not only one of the best albums of the year, but one of the best debuts in recent memory." - APHRA MAG
• Band started their own label, Mosy Recordings, and signed ANZ licensing deal with Sony Music Australia & and ANZ publishing deal with Universal Publishing.
• Toured the UK with Manchester Orchestra.
• November 2013 had the band enter a studio in upstate New York to record with Kevin McMahon (Swans, Titus Andronicus, Real Estate, The Walkmen), tracking their debut album. In 2015 they finished the record, mixing by Peter Katis (The National, Local Natives).
• Released debut album The Positions in Australia/New Zealand, April 2015.
• The Positions made Feature Album on both triple j & FBi radio.
• Debut in the Top 5 on the ARIA Chart with over 8000 record sales in its first four weeks.
• Was nominated for five ARIA Awards, including “Best Rock Album.” • Also gained a J award nomination, FBi SMAC nomination for Album of the Year, and won an AU Review Award for Best Live Act. • The Positions landed on a number of year-end lists including Rolling Stone Australia’s 50 Best Albums of the Year (#8). • Due to release a new EP April 2016 with subsequent EU and US tour.
Music should bring perspective to life, enriching experience by reflecting and amplifying the little things that are all too easy to take for granted. Gang Of Youths uncover power in that mindset. “I want to try and say the most human things, the most beautiful way possible,” says singer David Le’aupepe. “… and turn the regular and banal into powerful and universal imagery.”
This approach has turned the alternative Australian quintet—David, Joji Malani [guitar], Jung Kim [guitar, keyboard], Max Dunn [bass], Donnie Borzestowski [drums]—into a phenomenon back home. They first made waves with 2013’s “Evangelists,” produced by Jack Moffit of The Preatures. The song garnered praise from NME and Indie Shuffle and hit regular rotation on Australian powerhouse and worldwide tastemaker triple j. That set the stage for their full-length debut album, The Positions.
The record bowed at #5 on the ARIA Album Chart and notched five ARIA Award nominations, including “Best Rock Album.” The Positions received acclaim internationally from The Guardian, Stereogum, Rolling Stone Australia, Neon Gold, and more as the band supported the likes of Vampire Weekend, Sky Ferreira, Foster The People, and Manchester Orchestra on the road.
It’s all because The Positions examines one of life’s darkest realities with unmitigated and unwavering honesty. “When I was 19, my girlfriend at the time had a two-year prognosis since a melanoma on her ear metastasized and turned into cancer on her lungs,” sighs David. “I said, ‘Fuck it’ and just started writing some songs for her to listen to in the hospital.” However, the vision for the record not only told the story of his now ex-wife’s bout with the disease, but the simultaneous disintegration of their relationship.
The spark of The Positions also sets the stage for Gang Of Youths’ 2016 EP. Co-produced by long-time friend Karl Cashwell, their next body of work will temper abrasive and energetic guitars with symphonic and orchestral bombast.
“We really know what the fuck we’re doing now,” Dave says. “We’re not having to listen to anyone, and we have no constraints anymore. There are no synths. We took a step back and made something visceral and followed our gut.”
Ultimately, Gang Of Youths have only just begun to make an impact. “I want to make the most hopeful, life-affirming music possible,” Dave leaves off. “We want listeners to feel affirmed, to feel hopeful, and feel more. That’s the most important thing we want to accomplish.”
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