A quick roundup (Gang of Youths, Hovvdy, The Cool Kids)

The Cool Kids

The Cool Kids have expanded the “Before Shit Got Weird” experience, offering what the duo says are “episodes 2 and 3” of a triple album. 

Before Shit Got Weird featured appearances by J.I.D, Chance the Rapper, Larry June, 6lack, Pac Div, Don Cannon, Nic Jr, Gabby!, Pell, A-Trak, EMPD, Guapdad 4000, and more. The album stood as the first full-length effort from the duo since Special Edition Grand Master Deluxe back in 2017, Last July, the group’s debut album—When Fish Ride Bicycles, featuring The Neptunes and Travis Barker—marked its 10th anniversary.


Last year, Hovvdy released a new album called True Love. Then, last month, they returned with a track called “Everything,” a leftover from the True Love sessions. Now, they’re back with another one, a song called “Town” that was written and recorded after True Love.

The duo’s Charlie Martin explains: “There was catharsis in almost every layer – I remember crying recording the mellotron flutes. I’m not sure why, but with ‘Town’ I wanted the instrumental to do the heavy lifting, leaning less on storytelling. In that way, the song’s meaning isn’t terribly specific, but for me it’s about missing your friends and hoping they miss you.”

Gang of Youths

On their third album, the Sydney-formed band channel raw grief and frontman Dave Le’aupepe’s explorations of his Samoan heritage into soaring stadium rock.

It’s apparent we’re in for a profound ride the moment Gang Of Youths’ third album ‘Angel In Realtime’ begins to play. Flickering keys blossom under Dave Le’aupepe’s aching vocals on opener ‘You In Everything’. He sings as if he’s bearing the unshakable weight of grief on his shoulders: “I prayed the day you passed / but the heavens didn’t listen / so we held you till your dark skin dulled to fair.”

‘Angel In Realtime.’ is their reaction to turmultuous life events, the single ‘In The Wake Of Your Leave’ is a gut-punching response to the intense grief of losing a loved one. On this freewheeling Springsteen like anthem, Gang Of Youths strive for hope through pain and anguish.

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