Yard Act Share New Single “Dark Days”
Sell 1000 Peanuts/Dark Days 7 inches In Under 2 Hours
UK Shows Announced
Emerging Leeds outfit Yard Act have today shared their new single “Dark Days” – out via their own Zen F.C. label. Following their debut 7” Fixer Upper / The Trapper’s Pelts, which sold out its entire 500 copy pressing on the day of release, the band announced the Dark Days / Peanuts double A-side yesterday and sold out 1000 copies in just under 2 hours.
In signature Yard Act fashion, “Dark Days” propels frontman James Smith’s striking social observations forward along with steadfast guitar lines and jutting rhythms. Recorded in the same session as “Peanuts” with Ross Orton, “Dark Days” rounds off the opening chapter of Yard Act’s strange lockdown existence before they head off to record their debut album.
Since the release came to light, this compelling single has featured heavily on playlists as well as many KEXP plays. Once again, Yard Act delivers this dark, scratchy, and intense exploration that relies on the addictive melody to hook the audience.
An absolutely riveting piece from an act destined to be your new favourites. Biting instrumentation and captivating spoken-word lyrics which will send chills. The lyrics are the focal point for the arrangement but when the gritty instrumentation charges back in the sound-waves the intensity engulfs the immersive composition. Angular elements and a punk vibe. Yard Act are the real thing, their vision simply empowering.
Smith explains: “With ‘Dark Days’ I wrote the first verse and chorus hook quite fast but then I didn’t know how to finish it. The demo Ryan sent was ace, real sparse. The drums were really driven but the bassline felt like it was suspended mid air in the verses, like a dub bassline or something. It created the illusion that you have time to stop and look around amidst the ensuing chaos. It’s like in war films when all the noise stops and you just hear the protagonist heavy breathing whilst they survey their surroundings in slow motion. Then the chorus hit with this ‘Captain Caveman’ vibe, it reminded me of that stop-motion cartoon from the 90’s ‘GOGS’ if anyone remembers that? I liked the juxtaposition of the bleak world with the cartoon bass line.”
“Despite all the advances humanity has made, the threat of devolving feels increasingly possible in the modern world, and on my bad days when I’m spiralling I can’t help but get trapped in my own head envisioning this post-apocalyptic future we’re seemingly headed toward, so fuck knows why I decided to watch ‘Children of Men’ when I was feeling like that. If I’d fully remembered what happened in it, I don’t think I would’ve in the middle of a pandemic, but I did, and I actually came away feeling really uplifted by the ending. I saw hope in it, and it helped me finish the story.”
Yard Act formed in Leeds in late 2019 when Ryan Needham found himself temporarily living in James Smith’s spare bedroom. The two had been pub associates for years, but their new living circumstances served as a catalyst for their friendship and creative partnership which saw them fuse James’ interest in spoken word with Ryan’s primitive proto-punk demos using an ancient drum machine and borrowed bass guitar.
Yard Act’s rise since arriving in March 2020 with debut track “The Trapper’s Pelts” has been nothing short of extraordinary, even without the opportunity to showcase their incendiary live set. Their first releases last year proved an instant hit with national newspapers (The Observer, The Times, The Independent, and The Guardian) and radio stations (BBC Radio 6 Music (“Fixer Upper” and “Peanuts” were both daytime playlisted), BBC Radio 1 and Radio X) alike. The band rounded off 2020 with spots on the NME 100, Dork HYPE List, The Daily Star ‘Ones to Watch 2021’, Gigwise ‘21 for 21’, and Selector Radio’s ‘New Wave Artists 2021’. Single ‘Fixer Upper’ landed on Loud & Quiet and So Young Magazine’s ‘Tracks of the Year’, while “Peanuts” earned a place as BBC Introducing West Yorkshire Track of the Week, as well as being playlisted at NME, So Young, and The Independent alongside appearing on the cover of ‘The Punk List’ and ‘Hot New Bands’ at Spotify.
“Dark Days” is out now on Zen F.C. It is available here