The forthcoming album marks the follow-up to the band’s Mercury Prize-nominated debut The Overload, which arrived in January last year and peaked at number two in the charts.
Where’s My Utopia? sees the lads from Leeds team up with Gorillaz member Remi Kabaka Jr. for production duties, and has been heralded by the release of lead single ‘Dream Job’.
The new single arrives with a video directed by James Slater, marking the seventh collaboration between the band and the director – have a watch and a listen via said video below.
Yard Act recently revealed details of a huge 2024 tour across the UK and Europe, taking place throughout March and April of next year and including a night at Hammersmith’s Eventim Apollo; we now know that come the start of the tour in Norwich (13 March) their new album will be out in the world.
What’s more, the band have today also shared plans for their biggest hometown show yet, at the 5,750-capacity Millennium Square Leeds, taking place on 3 August 2024. (Ticket access is up for grabs now by pre-ordering the album).
Speaking about the band’s latest single, ever-wry and contemplative frontman James Smith has said: “‘Dream Job’ feels like an apt introduction to the themes explored on Where’s My Utopia? – though not all encompassing.
“In part I was scrutinising and mocking myself for being a moaning ungrateful little brat, whilst also trying to address how the music industry is this rather uncontrollable beast that hurtles forward unthinkingly and every single person involved in it plays their part. Myself included, obviously.
“As with pretty much everything else going through my head last year, trying to find the right time to articulate the complexity of emotions I was feeling and the severity to which I was feeling them couldn’t be found – or accommodated, so instead I tried to capture it in a pop song that lasts less than three minutes once the fog had cleared a bit. It’s good and bad. I’m still glad that everything that happened to me happened.”
Written in snapshots of time between a relentless touring schedule, and produced jointly by the band and Gorillaz’ Remi Kabaka Jr, the quartet’s second act is a giant leap forward into broad and playful new sonic waters. “The main reason that ‘post-punk’ was the vehicle for Album One was because it was really affordable to do, but we always liked so much other music and this time we’ve had the confidence to embrace it,” James explains.
“You can commit to the idea that we’re just animals who eat and fuck and then we die, and that’s fine,” he suggests. “But for me, creativity always seems to be the best way of articulating the absolute minefield of what human existence is.”
The band may be here to say farewell to The Overload, but they can’t help but give fans a glimpse of the future. New song ‘Petroleum’ pulls from the more uptempo end of Britpop via smirking guitar riffs and electronic wig-outs that flirt with carnage; the outrageous ‘Trench Coat Museum’, meanwhile, sees the group channelling dance-rock groups like Daft Punk or The Chemical Brothers with a fierce confidence.
“Both tracks see the band fearlessly heading away from the urgent post-punk songs that first found them an audience, but the reaction is one of chaotic euphoria. As Smith says onstage, “this feels familiar but new”. Bring on whatever comes next.”
Bring it on, indeed – and check out the full album artwork and tracklisting below.
1. An Illusion
2. We Make Hits
3. Down By The Stream
4. The Undertow
5. Dream Job
6. Fizzy Fish
8. When The Laughter Stops (ft. Katy J Pearson)
9. Grifter’s Grief
10. Blackpool Illuminations
11. A Vineyard for the North