10 Songs to Introduce Gang of Youths to a Bruce Springsteen Fan

(And now for our first post on DS in almost three months!)

When we last checked in with you, I had just gone on a Bruce Springsteen podcast called Set Lusting Bruce. On that show, I discussed my personal musical journey — specifically, discovering Gang of Youths a couple years ago and falling out of love with U2. It being a Springsteen podcast, I also talked with host Jesse Jackson about the Boss’s influence on GOY.

We had a really fun conversation — so much so that Jesse invited me to come back on and introduce both him and his listeners more formally to Gang of Youths. He asked me to send him a list of 10 songs that he’d listen to, and then we’d record another conversation about those 10 songs.

That episode was just published a few days ago! You can listen here.

Here are the 10 songs we discussed (in order):

  1. Fear and Trembling
  2. Sjamboksa
  3. Let Me Down Easy
  4. The Deepest Sighs, The Frankest Shadows
  5. Still Unbeaten Life
  6. The Heart Is A Muscle
  7. Magnolia
  8. Do Not Let Your Spirit Wane
  9. The Diving Bell
  10. Say Yes To Life

Without too many spoilers, Jesse enjoyed most of those songs and said he planned to keep listening to GOY. But as we talked, there were a couple of occasions when it was pretty obvious that the songs didn’t make as strong a connection as they could’ve simply because he didn’t know the full backstory — Dave’s full backstory with his first marriage, his suicide attempt, and all of that. I hadn’t thought of that, but it makes perfect sense in retrospect.

There were a couple moments, too, where rather than me teaching Jesse about GOY, he was teaching me indirectly about some Springsteen/GOY connections I would’ve otherwise missed. For example, consider these lyrics from “Sjamboksa” and “If I Should Fall Behind.”

Jesse also mentioned something about Bruce Springsteen always covering an Australian artist when he toured there before, which reminded me of how Gang of Youths (well, usually Dave by himself) would cover a “local” song when they toured in the U.S. in late 2018 (i.e., covering “Bloodbuzz Ohio” in Columbus).

Anyway … we had a long conversation, but I think you’ll enjoy it. (Please pretend you don’t hear me incorrectly say The Positions was released in 2016; I know it was 2015.)

Give it a listen here and let me know what you think!