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Track of the Day: Gateway Drugs – Young Lover

Gateway Drugs are a fitting act to close the new naas mixtape, Laaitie, the final, youth-orientated, compilation…

Gateway Drugs are a fitting act to close the new naas mixtape, Laaitie, the final, youth-orientated, compilation of the series for this year. The young band on their self-titled album crafted the most energetic, bright and catchy synth-pop this side of 1987. The question remained as to whether David Thorpe and Andrew Esterhuizen could move their audience emotions as much as they moved their dancing feet. 

On ‘Young Lover’ they step up to that mature challenge. The band have always proudly worn their 80s influences on their sleeve, from the Human League-like minimalism to the Depeche Mode dissonance. On this single the flickering synths are reminiscent of a Power, Corruption & Lies-era New Order and Thorpe sounds quite a bit like Bernard Sumner and the spoken word verse is similar to fellow revivalists like Chromatics. But the heart and emotion here is all of their own making as Thorpe asks, hopefully and naively, “where is it that you go to/ at night in your dreams?” as his voice traverses dreamy and spaced out soundscapes. Gateway Drugs are hopeless romantics and will always probably be so, but here they show that they will not be young forever. This anthem celebrates that fleeting youth.


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