News, Reviews

Yard Act Share New Single & Video “Payday”

November 23, 2021
James Brown

Yard Act Share “Payday”

Appear on Later…w/ Jools Holland

SXSW Appearance & U.S. Tour Dates Scheduled for 2022

Debut LP The Overload Out via Island Records / Zen F.C.
On January 21st, 2022 
(New Release Date)

Excitement just keeps building behind the Leeds band Yard Act ahead of the release debut LP, The Overload, which is due out via Island Records and their own imprint Zen F.C. on the recently revised release date of January 21st. The album follows 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 creating a stir in the US, earning praise from outlets like NPRStereogumPaste and Under The Radar, who designated them a band to watch in 2021.

The band’s hot streak has continued apace, recently garnering the support of high profile fans in Elton John and Cillian Murphy, selling out a run of shows, appearing on the soundtrack to the latest FIFA game, and performing their album’s title track on Later…w/ Jools Holland.  

Following on the heels of “The Land of The Blind,” the band are sharing a new track and video “Payday”.

This superior sound of squelchy bass, buoyant drum beats and drum shuffles, and scratchy guitars layer up this impressive soundscape where the playful lyrics and vibrant character soars through the mighty textures. Their ability to create the most immersive and mesmeric journey that enthralls the audience at every turn. Yard Act boldly creates such an intense journey with addictive melody. The excitement they conjure is worthy, their energy intoxicating.

Speaking about the new single, Smith explains: “‘Payday’ was one of the few tracks on the record we had to rebuild completely in the studio because the first demo was recorded on my computer and the hard drive corrupted. We spent about TWO hours trying to figure out that stupid keyboard part I’d put on it and couldn’t remember how to play. It was boring but worth it. It’s about gentrification, class fetish and how the human brain is so powerful that with enough time and processing power combined it will be able to justify, defend and/or continue to commit the actions of any human being it controls.
The accompanying video is the band’s third collaboration with director James Slater and his production team, following “The Overload” and “Land Of The Blind”, and further develops the world Yard Act have created and the characters that exist within it. Smith says: “We wanted to do something less location and narrative based for this video, so an infinity white studio served as the perfect purgatory for an anti capitalist anthem funded by a major record label. It was great to get Kayleigh from ‘The Overload’ car boot shoot back with her friends, and they choreographed a brilliant dance routine for it themselves, which really brings the video to life. It’s also nice to finally be able to explain all the lettuces that kept cropping up in the previous videos.

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 21st, 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

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

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

24 Nov | O2 Academy, Leeds 
25 Nov | O2 Ritz, Manchester

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