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Yard Act

What do you do when everything you’ve ever wanted suddenly lands in your lap, but thequestions still keep on coming?Since first steering their golden Rover into swift public acclaim back in 2020, Leeds quartetYard Act have become one of the great indie success stories of the decade so far. Along theway, they’ve ticked off milestones ranging from a Number Two chart placing and MercuryPrize nomination for debut album ‘The Overload’, to a co-sign from Elton John who joinedthe band to guest on a string-laden reworking of album closer ‘100% Endurance’.

Yet, whilst the band’s trajectory continuously shot upwards, vocalist James Smith and hiswife had also welcomed in a son. And it’s this duelling sense of responsibility and ambition,guilt, love, drive and everything in between that forms the narrative backbone of brilliantlyexploratory second album ‘Where’s My Utopia’.

Written in snapshots of time between a relentless touring schedule, and produced jointly bythe band and Gorillaz’ Remi Kabaka Jr, the quartet’s second act is a giant leap forward intobroad and playful new sonic waters. “The main reason that ‘post-punk’was the vehicle forAlbum One was because it was really affordable to do, but we always liked so much othermusic and this time we've had the confidence to embrace it,” James explains. Across therecord, influences ranging from Fela Kuti to Ennio Moriconevia Spiller’s ‘00s pop smash‘Groovejet’ make themselves known.

It’s a celebratory palette upon which Smith allowed himself to reach lyrically deeper intohimself than ever. Gone, largely, are the outward-facing character studies of yore, replacedwith aset of songs that stare fully into the headlights of life, wrangling with the frontman’sown fears and foibles to create a sort of Promethean narrative-but with jokes. “You cancommit 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 theabsolute minefield of what human existence is.”


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