Album Review: Angel in Realtime throws punches and hits us in the heart

My thoughts on the record and the journey the band takes us on.

credit Amy Heycock

When the band first introduced their first song of the new batch " the angel of 8th ave", I thought to myself, “There you are, and where have you been”. Rumors came forth that this song was a touching point for the fans to sort of bookmark the past before leaping forward into new territory.

A short time later Total Serene came out and I then began to understand a part of this new direction with Unison, a shuffling song that slowly builds up and takes off in horns, chanting, and a floor stomping beat. The song is lush and full of colors. I wasn’t sure which way to turn, but it was intoxicating from the emotion and longing.

Dates of the record came out and the countdown for February 25th was circled on my calendar in big bold sharpie.

Taking several listens from the top this album takes me on an emotional journey that I have not been on for several years. I’m not sure if the euphoria from the record comes from coming out of the pandemic or the relief that this band has given me a voice to feelings buried for perhaps a decade.

Angel in Realtime takes a real sonic journey, from the quiet tones and barebone soul of Hand of God and Brothers, to the sonic swirling depths of Spirit Boy, to the uplifting foot stomping of Wake of Your Leave and Angel of 8th Avenue and then finally to the careful yearning of Forbearance and Goal of the Century.

Although the band adds more strings, culture from the South Pacific, and has fewer guitars then in albums past, the soul of Gang of Youths has never changed. Dave’s lyrics are as poignant and “dictionary look up” as ever. We love you for that.

I look forward to seeing the band live to listen and see the them unfold these tracks to their fans. The setlists will be interesting to hear how the newer songs weave in and out of the branches of Go Further in Lightness and The Positions

This album took a long time to make it to our ears, but I can say from my ears, I can hear where all of the work is. And its in Angel of Realtime.