The band started answering that question in a couple different interviews today to promote “The Angel of 8th Ave.”
Dave Le’aupepe and Tom Hobden spoke with Zane Lowe today on his Apple Music show, New Music Daily, and revealed that they’re still working on that new album.
“It’s not done because the caveat is nothing with me — as Tom has found out in force over the last two years — nothing with me is ever done,” Dave said. “We’ve actually scrapped the album twice and restarted.” Sound familiar? It was just a couple weeks ago when Counting Crows singer Adam Duritz said he had sung on the album, but it was scrapped.
Tom quickly chimed in and told Lowe, “it’s ready when it’s ready. You know, I’m not going to rush it.”
As far as we know, neither band member mentioned this during the conversation with Lowe, but the show notes for their appearance describe “Angel of 8th” as “from their forthcoming EP, dropping in July.” Have a look:
We’ve reached out to get confirmation or comment on that, because it’s the only place we’ve found where a July EP was mentioned today. (We should mention here that Deepest Sighs has heard rumors recently that the next official release will be an EP, not a full album. But we haven’t heard any rumors about a release date.)
Dave also appeared on Triple J radio today and the subject of new music was a hot topic. The Triple J write-up of that interview says this:
Le’aupepe confirms a new body of work is coming “at some point in the next year or so” and will sound “extremely different or could potentially polarise people.”
It doesn’t specifically mention an EP or album, just “a new body of work.” Hmmmmm.
The article does go on to explore that idea of the band’s new music being polarising. “Angel of 8th,” according to Dave, is “the only song that sounds anything like what we used to do.” He says the band wanted fans to hear something familiar “before we took them on this journey that could be polarising, that uses a lot more breadth of musicality and eclecticism as opposed to what we were known for about 6-7 years.”
The article also quotes Jung Kim saying “we’re doing things that have never really made an appearance in Gang of Youths.” And there’s a Max Dunn quote that seems to include a swipe at the record label about deadlines:
In a statement, bassist Max Dunn also talks up going “in a less safe direction and it’s going to be more in line with Dave’s actual vision, rather than Dave pumping something out to get a deadline met.”
So what could all this mean?
For one, we know that the band spent time early last year recording something with the Auckland Gospel Choir.
That could certainly qualify as a new sound that’s unlike what we’ve heard before from Gang of Youths.
There are also the aforementioned contributions from Adam Duritz of Counting Crows, not to mention the possibly tongue-in-cheek reference from F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo about singing on the album. Unique? Yes, but neither necessarily hints at a new musical direction.
So at this point, it sounds like anyone’s guess when we’ll get more new music from Gang of Youths. Best case scenario could be an EP next month and then an album “at some point in the next year or so.”
Whenever it all happens, it also sounds like we’ll be hearing something totally new and different from “The Angel of 8th Ave.”