Gang Of Youths shared a cover of Wilco’s 1999 track “A Shot In The Arm,” performing it live during a session for SiriusXM station The Spectrum.
They kept much of the song’s airy, slightly melancholy energy intact, elevating it with layered synths – one low and woozy, the other shimmering, synthesized xylophone-like – understated violins and the imposing lead vocals by Dave Le’aupepe.
It’s an appropriate cover, given the lyrical themes explored on Gang Of Youths’ recent third album, “Angel In Realtime” – a concept album about the life of Le’aupepe’s late father. Towards the end of their cover of ‘A Shot In The Arm’, Le’aupepe passionately sings the chorus: “What you once were is no longer what you want to be.”
Listen to Gang Of Youths’ cover of “A Shot In The Arm” below:
In a recent interview with stereogumLe’aupepe noted Wilco as a key influence on “Angel In Realtime,” singling out the Chicago band’s iconic fourth album, 2001’s “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.”
“I love ‘Summerteeth’, but I can’t get past this album,” he said. “This first piece [‘I Am Trying To Break Your Heart’]it’s stripped down, but sonically it speaks to the kind of otherworldly essays that I think this band was trying to achieve.
“And the real thing for me in this fucking song is the drums. Glenn [Kotche]The drumming of is absolutely phenomenal and outrageous and strange and almost reflects that – I don’t mean to use the word “primitive” in a derogatory way, but kind of a primitive style of drumming I think Donnie [Borzestowski] was really moved. And so we tried to replicate some of those moments. “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” [is] a huge fucking reference for me, just in general.
Gang Of Youths are currently touring the UK in support of ‘Angel In Realtime’, with a North American tour also scheduled for next month. Their local stint ends in London next Tuesday (March 15), after the band played arenas in Birmingham and Manchester over the weekend (March 12 and 13, respectively). Earlier this month they performed a handful of new songs at an intimate club gig in Kingston upon Thames.
In a four star review of “Angel In Realtime”, NME Rhys Buchanan wrote, “Not only does ‘Angel In Realtime’ serve as a moving tribute to Le’aupepe’s late father, it’s also a triumphant exploration of love and life.
“Although these grounds of indie rock have been explored before, by being brutally honest throughout the healing process, Gang Of Youths have created some of their best work thus far. ‘Angel In Realtime’ is unquestionably a seminal album, but it shines with its embrace of intimacy and honesty at every turn.
Meanwhile, Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy recently said the band are in the studio working on their 12th album. “I’ve been in the studio with Wilco making new music, nibbling on a new record. It was very very very fun and exciting. We’re having a great time,” Tweedy said in a video shared to his Substack newsletter.