Listen: Rare Gang of Youths’ track “In Our Crowded Sea”

While building out the Tours section of this site a couple months ago, I came upon an article from The AU Review about a Gang of Youths show on August 2, 2016 in Sydney.

The author, Dylan Marshall, went through the show on an almost track-by-track basis and really grabbed my attention with the mention of a song I’d never heard of: “In Our Crowded Sea.” Here’s what Marshall said about its performance that night:

Sitting down at the keys, Dave explained the premise for the next track, one that had only been heard by the band once before, and would be receiving its first public performance in a matter of moments. Titled “In Our Crowded Sea,” the track was the verbal representation of the last attempts to save the relationship that created the basis of The Positions.

I searched and searched for more info about this song, but came up basically empty. There’s a Reddit thread about it, which points to a different review of that show where the author thinks the track is called “We Now Cried At Sea.” I suppose either title could be correct — they both kinda sound similar and it’s often difficult to make out words that a singer says while talking on stage.

And that was it. Until this week, when a short video of the song surfaced online and eventually made its way to Deepest Sighs so we could preserve it on YouTube. The video is incomplete and has a cut/dropout in the middle, but don’t let that slow you down.

(I should emphasize that this is not our video, and we don’t know whose it is. If the owner happens to see this article, we’d love to credit you — please get in touch.)

First & Only Performance?

As far as we know, this is the only time Dave/Gang of Youths performed the song.

This August 2, 2016, show was a surprise gig announced on Facebook earlier that same day — a standalone show not tied to any tour (where setlists often have a degree of repetition from night to night). It happened just a few days after Let Me Be Clear was released. GOY only performed live three more times the rest of the year — a U.S. radio performance in late September and two festivals in December.

We have no other mentions of the song anywhere in our Tours section, which currently numbers 347 past live performances.

Lyrics

I’ve played the video clip a bunch tonight to try to figure out the lyrics. What’s on the video is pretty repetitive, so it might be an early version of a song that maybe was never finished.

Here’s what I came up with for lyrics:

Until your eyes are ???
The sweetest eyes I’ve ever seen

Until there is no light
Until there is no sea
Until there’s no big ransom for the bastards after me
Just your morning ???
And stark, white sheets
And the only thing I hear is your buzzing, honeybee

(video cuts)

… no big ransom for the assholes after me
Just your morning ???
Stark white sheets
And the only thing I hear is your buzzing, honeybee

Until there is no light
Until there is no sea
Until there’s no king’s ransom for the bastards after me
Just your morning ???
And stark, white sheets
And the only thing I hear is your buzzing, honeybee

“Honeybee” is a word that was also used in “Keep Me In The Open,” a song that was released about a year after this show on Go Farther In Lightness. But that’s the only similarity, so I’m hesitant to say “In Our Crowded Sea” is an early version of that song.

Whatever it is, it’s fascinating — and it’s great to finally have some visual proof of this long-lost song from the Gang of Youths archives.

(Feel free to comment on this song right here in our forum.)