News, Reviews

Yard Act Share “Land Of The Blind” – Debut LP “The Overload”  Out via Island Records / Zen F.C. January 7th 2022 

October 29, 2021
James Brown

Yard Act Share “Land Of The Blind”

Announce SXSW Appearance & U.S. Tour Dates

Debut LP The Overload Out via Island Records / Zen F.C.
On January 7th, 2022 

Last month the Leed’s based band Yard Act, announced their debut LP, The Overload, due to be released on January, 7th 2022 via Island Records and their own imprint Zen F.C. 

Arriving with the barnstorming single “The Overload”, the announcement followed a collection of early singles released in 2020 and early 2021, that immediately caught on in their home country, earning accolades from outlets like The GuardianNME and Loud & Quiet, and created a stir in the US, earning praise from outlets like NPRStereogumPaste and Under The Radar, who designated them a band to watch in 2021. Their debut EP, which collected their early singles was released in late 2020 and sold 3000 physical copies, most of the in the first week it was released, and the moment the band were allowed to play live again they began selling out every venue they played, before playing the Reading Festival in August and solidifying their status as one of the most exciting UK exports of recent years.

Now, the band are sharing a new track and video “Land Of The Blind” – the second taste of their feverishly anticipated debut album, that arrives on the heels of a string of fully sold-out headline shows on their first ever UK tour that earned them accolades such as The Observer’s Artist Of The Week, and a perfect 5-star review in The Times along the way.

Yard Act delivers this refreshing new ensemble filled with unpredictable passages and this consuming energy. A mesmerizing journey that enthralls the audience at every turn. Yard Act boldly creates such an intense journey with addictive melody. n absolutely riveting piece from an act destined to be your new favorites. Biting instrumentation and captivating spoken-word lyrics which will send chills but also showcase the fun side of this outfit. 

Speaking about the new single, Smith explains: ““Land Of The Blind” is a song about the art of illusion, and how self-confidence can really inspire conviction in a trick. Confidence is such a powerful tool and we are so often willing to believe what we are told by the most confident people in the room because the alternative of doubting them is to exhaust ourselves labouring the point by trying to talk louder than them. Nobody wants that. Most people just want to get on with enjoying their short lives with as little stress as they possibly can. So, exhausting as it still is, closing your eyes whilst you let the mad bastards do their stupid tricks often seems the most reasonable price to pay.

The accompanying video is the band’s second collaboration with director James Slater and his production team, following “The Overload”. It was shot in a cafe in Clitheroe, with Burnley, Blackburn and Clitheroe locals, plus returning faces from “The Overload” video, further developing the world Yard Act have created and the characters that exist within it. James Smith explains: “I had the idea for a music video in which a magician does tricks but everybody keeps applauding. I thought it was too on the nose to be a decent satire but I’ve been subtle in the past and nobody has picked up on it so this time I thought we would just be blunt. James [Slater] developed the idea and came up with the concept of the magician holding the cafe hostage via hypnosis. It was such a laugh to film. James’ style of directing and the can-do approach that the producers Rosie and Jack have toward making our ideas come to life is everything. In the pub after the shoot Jack said to me, “How ace is it that we get to make fun stuff like this for a job?” and I couldn’t agree more. What a daft world we live in eh?

Spearheaded by James Smith (vocals) and Ryan Needham (bass), the now four-piece, completed by Sam Shjipstone (guitar) and Jay Russell (drums), have built a sound that speaks inherently to their birthplace of Leeds, West Yorkshire, and yet ties together observations from all walks of modern British life – the small-town bloke in the local pub, the anti-capitalist stuck at a desk job, the tired activist in all of us torn between easy complicity and the desire to fight.
Having grown from relatively casual pub acquaintances to housemates, Smith and Needham found living together to be conducive to a high work rate, racking up demos in quick succession. Settling into a system of programming, looping and layering, the alchemy between the two created a base from which to build their narrative world. “Ryan is a vibe guy, whereas I overthink everything,” laughs Smith. “It’s been the greatest creative partnership I’ve ever had. When you find a groove that works, it just kind of looks after itself.
With just three hometown shows under their belt, world events intervened. But rather than letting the pandemic derail them Yard Act set up their own imprint, Zen F.C. and across the course of 2020 and into early 2021 released four increasingly coruscating, hilariously dark singles with “The Trapper’s Pelts”, “Fixer Upper”, “Peanuts” and “Dark Days”, all securing BBC 6 Music airplay, and despite the circumstances developing a remarkable, ever increasing fanbase.
Pulling off a debut album in a pandemic isn’t easy, but somehow, Yard Act have made it work. Recording with Ali Chant (PJ Harvey, Perfume Genius, Aldous Harding) at his Bristol studio, those prolific demos have been sharpened down into something that speaks to the times we live in, creating a statement of intent that survives on nuance – a record of retro influences, recorded in a modern way. The Overload is a political record, but in the same way that all great observations of human nature are – a messy, complex, knowingly hypocritical snapshot of our current state of play.

The Overload is out via Island Records and Zen F.C. on January 7th, 2022. It is available for preorder here

1. The Overload
2. Dead Horse
3. Payday
4. Rich
5. The Incident
6. Witness (Can I Get A?)
7. Land Of The Blind
8. Quarantine The Sticks
9. Tall Poppies
10. Pour Another
11. 100% Endurance

Tour Dates
30 Oct | Dark Arts, Leeds UK – SOLD OUT
6 Nov | Mutations Festival, Brighton, UK
13 Nov | Great Western Festival, Glasgow. UK
14 Nov | Sonic City, Kortrijk, BE
19 Nov | Le Metronum,  Toulouse, FR
20 Nov | Pitchfork Festival,  Paris, FR 
6 Jan | Pryzm, Kingston-Upon-Thames, UK
11 Jan | Rough Trade, Nottingham, UK – SOLD OUT
12 Jan | Rough Trade, Bristol, UK
13  Jan | Rough Trade East, London, UK – SOLD OUT
19-22 Jan | Eurosonic, Groningen, NL
2 Feb | L’Aéronef, Lille, FR
3 Feb | Trix, Borgorhaut, BE
4 Feb | Paradiso Kleine Zaal, Amsterdam, NL
5 Feb | Molotow, Hamburg, DE
6 Feb | Stengade, Copenhagen, DK
7 Feb | Plan B, Malmö, SE
9 Feb | Badehaus, Berlin, DE
10 Feb | Blue Shell, Cologne, DE
11 Feb | Rotondes, Luxembourg, LU
12 Feb | La Boule Noire, Paris, FR
17 Feb | Village Underground, London, UK – SOLD OUT
18 Feb | Patterns, Brighton, UK – SOLD OUT
19 Feb | The Joiners, Southampton, UK – SOLD OUT
21 Feb | Exchange, Bristol, UK – SOLD OUT
22 Feb | Clwb Ifor Bach, UK Cardiff
23 Feb | Bodega Social, Nottingham, UK – SOLD OUT
24 Feb | The White Hotel, Salford, UK – SOLD OUT
25 Feb | The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge, UK – SOLD OUT
26 Feb | Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, UK – SOLD OUT
1 Mar | The Cluny, Newcastle, UK – SOLD OUT
2 Mar | The Caves, Edinburgh, UK
3 Mar | Mono, Glasgow, UK
4 Mar | Whelans, Dublin, IE

——-New Dates Start Here—— 

14 Mar – 20 Mar | SXSW, Austin, US
22 Mar | Union Pool, Brooklyn, US 
23 Mar | Johnny Brenda’s, Philadelphia, US
24 Mar | TV Eye, Queens, US
25 Mar | The Sinclair, Boston, US
27 Mar | The Garrison, Toronto, CA
29 Mar | Sleeping Village, Chicago, US

5 Apr | Earth, London, UK
15 Apr | The Casbah, San Diego, US
18 Apr | The Crocodile, Seattle, US
19 Apr | Doug Fir Lounge, Portland, US 
21 Apr | Rickshaw Stop, San Francisco, US
11 May | Trinity, Bristol, UK
18 May | Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, UK
19 May | Zanzibar, Liverpool, UK
20 May | Irish Centre, Leeds, UK
21 May | Band on the Wall, Manchester, UK
22 May | The Foundry, Sheffield, UK
26 May | O2 Academy, Leicester, UK
27 May | Arts Centre, Norwich, UK
5-7 Aug | Off Festival, Katowice, PL
9-13 Aug | Oya Festival, Oslo, NL.

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