On October 7th, following the release of the total serene EP, Gang Of Youths returned with a new single, “the man himself.” On this new track, frontman Dave Le’aupepe focuses on “the loss of his father.” While it’s a disorienting experience, “he also realizes that he needs to find his own way in the world without the help of that guiding, comforting hand.”
While the lyrics are incredibly pensive, the music that accompanies them completely juxtaposes those feelings. “Emerging from the grand, cinematic aspect of the band’s sonic spectrum, it’s full of creative touches from the moment Tom Hobden’s violin provides a scene-setting introduction. From the pulse-racing beat to the atmospheric piano breakdown and a typically whole-hearted hook, it finds Gang of Youths continuing to explore new dimensions to their sound. As with “unison,” “the man himself” features sampled field recordings of Indigenous Pacific music captured by David Fanshawe. And in a song about loss, they possess a pure and elative hymnal quality.” Literally, I could not have said it better myself.
Everything that I said in my review of “unison” still holds on this track. I do want to see what a music video for “the man himself” would look like, but the song itself has that Gang Of Youths’ amalgam of sounds that seem cluttered when put into words but work perfectly as an auditory experience. Make sure you experience that for yourself with the link below. “the man himself” is celebratory and mournful all at once, much like a funeral. Le’aupepe and crew have knocked it out of the park again.