During a trip to Australia to promote his latest solo album, Trick, Bloc Party font-man Kele Okereke teased new Bloc Party material in an interview with Triple J. With the band having been on extended hiatus and officially cutting its members from four to two with the departures of Matt Tong and Gordon Moakes, it seemed as though solo was the way things were going to stay for the respective Bloc Party member. However, after setting the band aside to pursue other projects, Okereke and guitarist Russell Lissack officially reformed the band earlier this year.
They found themselves a new drummer, Louise Bartle, via YouTube and added bassist Justin Harris of US indie-rock band Menomena. Soon after, those teasers turned into official announcements and before we knew it, the wait for new Bloc Party material was finally over. They dropped the first single off the upcoming LP HYMNS, and confirmed they would be playing a couple of festival dates (and sideshows) in Australia. With a new album and trip to Australian shores underway, the new Bloc Party single The Love Within has been getting some serious play on radio and coverage online.
Having been less than impressed with the last Bloc Party album, Four, I was weary about this new material. In the end, that turned out to be a pretty good thing as this single, with its layers of synth and Kele’s injecting the wonderfully emphatic vocals displayed in his solo work into the band, is more exciting than any off the previous LP. It’s a strange middle-ground to be in, mourning the loss of Tong and Moakes who had crafted some of the best live music moments I’ve seen, while still appreciating that this new Bloc Party sounds revived, fresher and excites me for the upcoming full length, which is dropping very early next year.
Until that time comes, Bloc Party have released the official video for The Love Within, which features dancers and band members alike spinning around in an empty shopping centre. Filmed in a north London mall, the clip is by award winning short filmmaker, Ivana Bobic with choreography from Holly Blakely (Florence and the Machine, Jungle, Young Fathers). It’s nothing groundbreaking, but it’s a great video nonetheless and everyone seems genuinely happy to be in it – especially the surprise star at the end.
Bloc Party will be visiting Australia across the New Years period to perform at Falls and Southbound festivals, as well as a two headline shows:
Tuesday, 5th January
The Forum, Melbourne
Tickets: Secret Sounds
Thursday, 7th January
Enmore Theatre, Sydney
Tickets: Secret Sounds