The new single from Yard Act, “We Make Hits”, has dropped – listen and watch the video below.
The song is the latest teaser for their highly-anticipated second album Where’s My Utopia? and sees the Leeds band in typically playful mood, mixing angular post-punk sounds with James Smith’s spoken word stream-of-consciousness poetry, combining sardonic commentary with a healthy dollop of self-deprecating humor.
Speaking about the origins of the new track in a press statement, Smith said the song “started like most Yard Act songs do these days, in [bassist] Ryan’s spare bedroom. He’d recorded a couple of basslines and I went round to throw some words on top just to see what might happen.”
He also acknowledged that the lyrics – as might be guessed from the only-slightly tongue-in-cheek title, have a definite autobiographical slant.
“I was reflecting on how things had changed so much for us over the last few years,” he continued, “when I realized that sat round a laptop trying to make each other laugh, necking black coffee and craning our heads out of the window to smoke cigs every hour or so, all that had really changed within the writing process was that, thanks to my baby, we were at Ryan’s house rather than mine and that Ryan had a place of his own now, which was nice.
“Despite the outside blowing up, behind closed doors, we were the same, and I’m grateful for that. You can see the cynicism and the silliness on the surface of ‘We Make Hits’ without much effort, but at its core, for me, it’s really an ode to friendship and the unfiltered joy you feel when you’re making music with the people you hold dear in your life.”
On their Facebook page, the band described the song as: “Cynical, silly, but ultimately full of heart if you ask us. It’s the Yard Act origin story and it’s a love letter to making music with the people you love and how good it feels. No doubt some people will misinterpret its many meanings, no doubt the cloth-eared amongst us will dismiss it by way of heuristics but ultimately you’re all wrong and only positive opinions matter. No irony necessary.”
Yard Act’s debut album, The Overload, saw the band catapulted from “ones to watch” in the BBC Sounds 2022 shortlist to Mercury Music Prize nominees. The LP reached No. 2 in the U.K. charts and was described by The Guardian as “skittery-but-muscular post-punk funk: punchy disco drums, stabbing guitar, the melodies driven by the bass,” adding, “their lyrics bluntly confront post-Brexit Britain – ‘the age of the gentrified savage … the overload of discontent,’ as the title track puts it.”
Follow-up, Where’s My Utopia? will be released on March 1, and was announced with a picture on the band’s social media of a scrap of cardboard, on which was scrawled: “WELCOME TO THE FUTURE!”
The band are also preparing for a tour through spring and summer 2024 that takes in 11 British dates before a further 18 European shows, and then eight across California, Oregon, British Columbia and Washington, U.S.A. The tour will climax with a homecoming gig at Millennium Square in Leeds on August 3. Tickets can be bought here.