A simple question from a man living in the other side of the world: how well are GOY known in Australia?
Gang of Youths have achieved a lot of success in Australia since the release of ‘Go Farther In Lightness’. They won Album of the Year, Best Group, Best Rock Album and Producer of the Year at the 2017 ARIA Awards (Australian Grammys).
Go Farther In Lightness topped the Triple J Album Poll in 2017 as the most popular album as voted for by the public. In the 2017 Triple J Hottest 100 (a publicly voted music poll voted on by 2.3 million people worldwide), ‘Let Me Down Easy’ (#2), ‘The Deepest Sighs, The Frankest Shadows’ (#5) and ‘What Can I Do If The Fire Goes Out?’ (#10) all charted in the top 10, while their cover of The Middle East’s ‘Blood’ came in at #41.
Last year they performed at the NRL Grand Final - a major sporting event in Australia attended by 80,000 people, it was the 5th most-watched event on Aus TV in 2018 with over 3 million viewers.
They had an extremely successful tour in Australia with 8 sold-out shows in Melbourne and 6 sold-out shows in Sydney (the 2 biggest cities in Australia).
Among people who keep up to date on new music, most would know Gang of Youths. But they aren’t on an Ed Sheehan level of awareness throughout the general population.
Hopefully that helps give you an insight. Here’s a couple of features that aired on Australian publicly funded TV.
Come on Rob, don’t undersell them. Apart from preteen girls and hip-hop fans, they’d have to be the most well known Aussie band in the country at the moment.
The peculiarity of the GOY songs that surprised me just at the first listen of “Go Farther In Lightness” is the length of the tracks, on average higher than that of the other bands.
Six or seven minutes songs in Italy they would not be transmitted on the radio stations and the average listener does not love them. So I deduce that in Australia the musical culture is perhaps greater than in Italy and the listener goes beyond the appearance of simple and immediate songs. I love long songs and for example “Don’t Let Your Spirit Wane” (almost 8 minutes) for me could last forever as if it were a mantra … like Bob Dylan’s “Sad e
Eye Lady Of The Lowlands”…
If a song it’s a beautiful song, because to force it to end after 3 minutes?
I feel the same way about song length, @Andrea81. I can’t speak to how Aussie radio handles the long tracks, but I do see tweets from Triple J where they tell what song was just played, and sometimes that includes the longer songs. So at least one big station doesn’t totally ignore the 6-8 minute songs.
On the other hand, GOY did release a “radio edit” version of Heart Is A Muscle, so the band/record label obviously felt the need to at least make that track a bit more radio-friendly.
A year before The Positions came out they released an abridged version of Poison Drum, at 4:29 mins and it ended up being 6:28 on the album, so Sony were obviously well aware of track lengths at that early stage. But Dave has stated on numerous occasions he won’t compromise the songs to make them radio friendly. It’s a tough one. On one hand I admire the band’s integrity for producing what they want, but you’d have to think the long tracks are a roadblock to their radio success.
There is no doubt that shorter songs with repetitive refrains are more sought by record companies and more valued by a greater number of people.
I think it is very right to write short songs if that is what your inspiration naturally leads you to do(like punk rock)but if you do it only to succeed or you will last the time to drink a glass of water or you will make shit works. We are already full of bands with the head taken only by wanting to be famous. Wanting to be famous is a sacrosanct right but it can not be the ultimate goal so I love the brave choices like those of GOY … an album of almost 1 hour and a half of which every second is to be appreciated.
Very well said.