“Tend the Garden,” the new single from Australian band Gang of Youths, pops into with strident assurance. There’s a tight little drum fill and then a luxuriant wash of synth lines. Lead singer David Le’aupepe almost immediately murmurs the opening lines: “I was young, it was the sixties, you see/ I never wanted to be the chief of anything.” Le’aupepe wasn’t actually young in the nineteen-sixties; his father was, and the song, and the band’s forthcoming album, is inspired by the elder man’s journey. Musically, the track is smooth majesty, sounding like a grittier, more modern version of the Blue Nile with exciting hints of the same sort of freewheeling demolition of genre boundaries that distinguished Bartees Strange’s Live Forever. It’s hypnotic and energizing at the same time.
The new album from Gang of Youths, angel in realtime, is scheduled for release in February 2022.