Gang of Youths say, “The album is about the life and legacy of Dave's father, indigenous identity, death, grief and God. And also the Angel, Islington.”
Despite and indeed because of frontman Dave Le’aupepe’s father’s absence, his influence permeates every talking point that the album offers. At times it’s solely focused upon the precise, personal experiences of loss: the dichotomy of intensity and peace that comes as someone passes through their final days; the overwhelming feeling in the wake of their death that life will never be the same, even if the rest of the world at large remains utterly unchanged.
Although the album is eclectic - influences range from American minimalism and contemporary classical, to drawing upon the legacy of Britain’s alternative/indie scenes, from drum ‘n’ bass to the most transcendent moments of Britpop -- it’s equally rooted in Le’aupepe’s Samoan heritage, with the majority of tracks featuring samples from David Fanshawe’s recordings of indigenous music from the Polynesian islands and the wider South Pacific. ‘angel in realtime.’ also features contributions from a cast of talented Pasifika and Māori vocalists and instrumentalists.