‘Go Farther in Lightness’: Gang of Youths Album Review
thank you pic.twitter.com/vjCqkt5qYr
— gang of youths (@gangofyouths) August 19, 2017
Go Farther in Lightness. One word: breathtaking. Sydney band, Gang of Youths’ third album is nothing short of a masterpiece. The 16-song, 77-minute journey has claimed the band many accolades and praise since the album was released in August 2017.
The band raked in four awards at the 2017 ARIA Awards winning; Best Group, Best Rock Album, Apple Music Album of the Year and Producer of the Year (Adrian Breakspear).
The album, Go Farther in Lightness, also debuted at number one in Australia on the ARIA charts.
Following on from their ARIA success, the Gang of Youths cleaned up during Triple J’s 2017 Hottest 100 countdown, arguably Australia’s most popular and influential annual song ranking competition.
The album had three songs finish in the top ten rankings, only the third ever band to do so in the same year. Just missing out on the prized number one position, Let Me Down Easy finished second on the list, The Deepest Sighs, the Frankest Shadows came in at number five, while What Can I Do If The Fire Goes Out rounded out the top ten.
The five-piece indie-rock band consisting of Dave Le’aupepe, Max Dunn, Joji Milani, Donnie Borzestowski, and Jung Kim has had a big impact on Australia and its overall music scene.
Lead singer David Le’aupepe carries an emotional burden throughout the album as he lets the listeners in on his well-documented battles with loneliness, anxiety and depression. The personal struggles trackback to 2015 song Magnolia off Gang of Youths ‘The Positions’ album. Just coming out of a broken marriage, Le’aupepe was finding it hard to deal with his emotions and on one night, specifically, the 3rd of June 2014, became intoxicated and tried to take his own life by stepping out in front of moving traffic.
Magnolia Lyrics: “Quit honking your horns, there’s five other lanes, And I am king of them all and faster than light… there’s no kind of right way, To do what I’ll do, but I’m king of the earth, With impossible blood on this 3rd of June”
This personal grief for Le’aupepe continues onto album Go Farther In Lightness. While writing Gang of Youths third album, Le’aupepe faced the trauma of losing a close friend, as well as dealing with his late father’s ongoing sickness.
The album cleverly makes use of its powerful instrumental aspects, with L’imaginaire, Le symbolique and Le reel containing no vocals at all. The album titled 1:48 long song, Go Farther In Lightness, beautifully and concisely sums up the entire sombre tone of the playlist.
Check the picture below for the album’s complete tracklist:
To come back to the 2017 Triple J Hottest 100 countdown, there were three songs on the album that resonated with Australian’s that caused them to vote the tunes within the top ten rankings. I will also quote one of the potent lyrics of each song that I think summarises it best.
#2. Let Me Down Easy: This song talks about the struggle in the relationship when partners want two different things. Taking the minority side, it’s one of the few upbeat songs on the album, with a very catchy drum beat. There’s no surprise this song finished as the second most popular song in 2017 according to Australian’s.
Popular lyric: “You want someone to want you for who you are, I want someone to try, then let me down easy.”
#5. The Deepest Sighs, the Frankest Shadows: This song does nothing but fills the listener with hope and motivation to get through the tough times in life. It certainly is a powerful and cinematic track with its strong lead guitar and building rhythm.
Popular lyric: “To be wanted with truth and make formidable love, See light in myself that I see inside everyone else I know.”
#10. What Can I Do If the Fire Goes Out? Piano, drums, guitar, vocals, awesome. Once again the song features an amazing building riff and is the heaviest rock-esque song on the album. The song’s message is about Le’aupepe trying to find meaning or the ‘light’ in his life.
Popular lyric: “Can you still show me the way? Can you still show me a light? ‘Cause I was only a kid, When I fell and you left me behind.”
However, after all this evaluation, which is my personal favourite song on the album? It’s hard to go past The Deepest Sighs, the Frankest Shadows. It’s a song that starts off slowly and immediately relaxes the listener, however as the song progress it develops into a fast-paced burst of positive energy that climaxes at the line ‘not everything means something, honey’. And even though this review is based on the quality of the music alone, you can’t go past the beautifully artistic film clip that accompanies it. Check it out below.
RATING: 5/5 Stars
From top to bottom, Go Farther in Lightness walks you through a well thought-out playlist, bringing the listener in touch with their emotive side. The album jumps from sad lulls in Keep Me In the Open and Persevere to upbeat and energetic tunes of What Can I Do If the Fire Goes Out? and Say Yes to Life. I can truly say this is one of the greatest complete album’s I’ve ever listened to and will go down as one of my all-time favourites.
Did this article raise any personal issues for you? Call:
Lifeline Australia: 13 11 14
Beyond Blue: 1300 22 46 36
Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800
National Indigenous Critical Response Service: 1800 805 801