It’s no secret that Gang Of Youths’ debut offering The Positions was a stealer of hearts, purveyor of emotions and a blatantly honest insight into a darkness that plagued lead singer David Le’aupepe. It was more than an album, it was a stunning piece of art that proved the band’s pure talent. Now, after the success of the album, Gang Of Youths have taken the next step forward and we have been introduced to Let Me Be Clear, which still touches on issues of death, cancer and a life that is falling apart, but through a different perspective.
Immediately, the EP’s opening track ‘The Good Fight’ offers an enchanting, string-filled melody, one that is far tamer than their signature sound. Teamed with Dave’s stunning vocals, this track solidifies the band’s versatility and willingness to experiment. As the track builds over the course of almost seven minutes, The Good Fight builds into something much more recognisable and absolutely takes off into a much more guitar heavy direction. Similarly, ‘Native Tongue’ keeps rolling along this heavier path, intertwining a gritty, grungy melody with upbeat, borderline jangle rock sounds. This would have to be the catchiest track on the EP, especially when the chorus kicks in. There is just something about the guitars that make your ears prick up and the lyrics will leave a strong visual imprint in your mind that will stick around little while.
The first single to be shared off this offering which was originally released as a bonus track on The Positions, ‘Strange Diseases’ is another stunning offering that sounds to be their most clean cut, polished release yet. Backed by an enchanting strings section, ‘Strange Diseases’ is an unusually short single for the band, who have become known for their enduring, prolonged melodies.
‘A Sudden Light’ holds the most powerful lyricism of Let Me Be Clear, painting a vivid image of uncertainty and fear. The song’s opening lyric “All our friends are dead and gone” highlights the emotional passion that Dave lets seep into his craft and sets up for a track that holds an entirely different sound than what we have come to recognise from the band. Followed by an almost as equally visually vivid track, ‘Still Unbeaten Life’ is driven by the lyrics, which are supported by warm and serene instrumentation before building into a deeper beat in the last couple of minutes of the song.
Coming to a close with a mesmerising cover of Joni Mitchell’s ‘Both Sides Now’, Let Me Be Clear offers a stunning collection of melodies and vocals that once again deliver an immensely emotional and lyrically visual album.