Australia has held tight to Gang of Youths, a rock band that has seen fame in their native stomping ground more readily than here in the States. Now it seems their new LP, Go Farther In Lightness, has made an ocean-spanning impact. Gang of Youths have written a record filled with introspective rock songs that showcase their adept musicality, boundless possibility, and above all, heart.
Where many contemporary rock bands fail, Gang of Youths shows their humanity. Go Farther In Lightness takes on after energetic bands such as The National and Modest Mouse, both of which won’t hesitate to dissect your perspective, though in their own unique ways. Gang of Youths now champions their own worldview, one that is filled with booze and lust, beginning with vulnerability and ending with fearlessness.
In the record’s sixteen tracks, the Gang explores identity and self-reflection with tangible metaphors. From a songwriting standpoint, allusions and direct references from R.E.M. to Greek gods abound, giving the lyrics an earned sense of importance. A breathless orchestra seems to follow them around after the first interlude, “L’imaginaire,” taking the musicianship on the project to new heights. The three other interludes dotted in the record (including the title track) offer to accelerate this subplot from the greater existential narrative of Lightness, but also manage to open it up to deeper meaning with very few lyrics. Imagination, illumination, symbolism, and reality are just part of a cycle, one that churns with life.