Listening to the new Gang of Youths album angel in realtime. often feels like being surrounded by a gang of sounds.
The Australian band’s third studio effort, due out Friday, is full of different noises and instruments that seemingly fly into your ears from every direction. One might imagine that recording angel in realtime. consisted of each band member simply picking up and playing whatever instrument they could find, which multi-instrumentalist Tom Hobden tells ABC Audio isn’t that far from the truth.
“We…tried to go in [the studio] every day and just sort of chip away at things,” Hobden shares. “It was a really good chance for everyone to just explore instruments they knew, instruments they didn’t.”
All of those sounds on angel in realtime. are centered around the vocals and lyrics of frontman David Le’aupepe, whose approach to the record informed its sonic direction.
“We would build tracks, only to then hear a vocal in the very last few days,” Hobden explains. “So it would kind of like work in reverse, I guess, as to how many people would imagine you write and record a song.”
angel in realtime. features the single “the angel of 8th ave.,” which is the first Gang of Youths tune to chart on Billboard‘s Alternative Airplay ranking. Hobden credits the song’s “relentless” and “infectious” nature with helping it reach a new audience.
“It’s just got a classic Dave melody that is just all encompassing in mood and theme and just dripping with emotion,” Hobden says. “It’s really just raw.”
Hobden adds that “8th ave.” was a “mood setter” for the whole record.
“You have a feeling of, like, which single you want to lead with, and that was just an open-and-closed case,” he says. “We knew it was that one.”
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