Last week Leeds post-punks Yard Act announced Where’s My Utopia?, their sophomore LP, which drops March 1st on Republic Records, in addition to lead single/video, “Dream Job.” The album — co-produced by the band and Remi Kabaka Jr., of Gorillaz — follows up 2022 debut full-length, The Overload, and stand-alone single, “The Trench Coat Museum,” which dropped earlier this year and had New York Times saying, “There’s a specific zaniness to… eight-minute single ‘The Trench Coat Museum’ that makes it sound like a long-lost alternative-rock radio novelty hit from the late 1990s, albeit with a killer groove and an extended outro that beckons to the dance floor.”
“Dream Job” has vocalist James Smith reflecting on the band’s past year+ in the music industry, including having The Overload make it to Number 2 on the UK charts, television debuts on Later … with Jools Holland in the UK and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in the US, being shortlisted for the Mercury Prize, and having Elton John feature on a reimagining of “100% Endurance,” The Overload’s closing track, in addition to tour dates all over the world (They played Johnny Brenda’s last March.) According to Smith, the song addresses growing up (He and his wife recently became parents.), but also provides a commentary on being enveloped in the music industry in the 21st century.
“In part, I was scrutinizing 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.”
The announcement of Where’s My Utopia? coincided with the unveiling of more than a week’s worth of last-minute US tour dates, including a stop this coming Sunday, November 5th, at our very own Underground Arts. Additionally, the band has announced both headlining and festival shows in Asia through December, followed by headlining dates across Europe and the West Coast running next year from March until August. These dates wrap on August 3rd, with a hometown show at the 5,750-capacity Millennium Square Leeds… It’s not looking like Yard Act’s shows are going to be getting any more intimate in the near future, so we would highly recommend planning to come out and see them at the 650-capacity Underground Arts this Sunday, while tickets are still available.
*Get your tickets here.