Gang of Youths – Let Me Be Clear (EP Review)

Following their debut record The Positions from 2014, Gang of Youths have returned with a new EP Let Me Be Clear dropping on Friday 29th July aka TOMORROW! AMNplify was lucky enough to get a sneak peek and here’s what we thought.

.Gang of Youths Let Me Be Clear Cover Art - assorted images depicting the band and other mundane items such as cars, a kitchen sink and oven, and more.

What starts off with a piano melody that gives you a feeling like you’re about to be taught an important life lesson soon feeds into a slow, deliberate build of a marching beat and sincere strings, culminating in the musical manifestation of The Good Fight, literally. David Le’aupepe’s desperate vocals crash against cymbals and wretched guitar, scratching at the final question of “Will someone tell me why I need all this stuff?!

If you want to bit hit in the feels, this is the song to listen to. Have no fear though, there’s a certain hopeful quality to everything the Jung Kim and Joji Malani do with those guitars. It sets a precedent that Gang of Youths mean business. They aren’t afraid to have a bit of fun while they take on some tough concepts in Let Me Be Clear.

Native Tongue is a feel good piece detailing the gorgeous evolution of relationships. Every instrument thrums with delight to be a part of something so beautifully messy as getting to know someone and being honest with them. There’s an element of tonal clash reminiscent of Silversun Pickups but Gang of Youths’ sound has evolved in a totally different direction.

.Gang of Youths group photo.

With a jovial introduction promising an anthem both Strange Diseases and A Sudden Light bring hope to any listener from the base beauty of normality. The chords are clear, drums uplifting, Dave’s imploring voice seems to yield a kind of release. The realisations in the lyrics seem to free us all. There are definitive hints of Arcade Fire and even The Middle East.

Slowing it down with Still Unbeaten Life, acoustic and electric blends with all manner of sounds. The horns and harp in particular stand out, an intricate combination of layers showing nothing but good certainty and clarity of purpose. This track is a relaxing yet complex. You could listen to it over and over.

The EP also features a bonus track, Both Sides Now. It’s a raw track, a seemingly “uncut” insight into David’s mind and ultimately relatable for anyone listening.

A number of meaty tracks to sink your teeth into, with thoughtful lyrics and time to process the concepts explored, Let Me Be Clear suggests nothing but more good music to come. Pick up a copy as soon as you can!
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