Only less than a year ago, a big question mark loomed over whether new music would ever emerge from Bloc Party. Now, they return with their strongest, most vital statement to date, in triumphant new album 'FOUR'.
Following an extended hiatus after 2008's critically acclaimed 'Intimacy', the four piece of Kele Okereke, Russell Lissack, Gordon Moakes and Matt Tong reunited in New York in the winter of 2011, prompted by a creative impetus inspired by a dramatic year in world events, as well as a shared desire to rekindle their singular musical kinship.
Teaming up with producer Alex Newport (Death Cab For Cutie, The Mars Volta, At The Drive-In), the band approached the new songs by tapping into the raw passion and energy that is well-known to anyone who has seen them perform live - setting aside digital and studio cosmetics in favor of a rehearsal room, their instruments, and the magic of their innate musical chemistry. In Kele's words, "we wanted to challenge ourselves by not relying on the invisible grid that seems to be mapping out all of popular music these days".
And indeed, 'FOUR' presents a band in the fullest sense of the word: lean, hungry, spirited and uncompromising, armed with a collection of songs as powerful and anthemic as they've ever penned, as well as some of their most hard-hitting and visceral recordings to date. The album finds Kele's unmistakable delivery is at it's most fervent: urgent and rallying one moment, invitingly intimate and vulnerable the next, coupled with the bands hallmark dynamics of angular, incendiary energy that prove more thunderous and commanding than ever. Always ones to explore a wide sonic and emotional palette, 'FOUR' rages through the barely-contained rock swagger and towering chorus of 'Kettling', jetting angular guitars and enticing melodic twists of 'Octopus', and breathless, exclamatory breakdown of 'Coliseum', while not losing touch with their more intimate side in the lush, shimmering romance of 'Healing', poignant falsetto underscoring the bittersweet shuffle of 'Real Talk', and warm arpeggios of uptempo ballad 'Day 4' that open into a spellbinding coda of crystalline guitars and distantly looming strings.
'FOUR' marks a triumphant and much-welcomed return of one of the most important and loved acts to emerge out of British guitar music in the noughties. It is the sound of a seminal band maturing with grace and confidence, exploring new areas of their craft while never losing sight of the singular fire and urgency that made them so compelling in the first place. In Kele's own words: "the record is the sound of four people in a room, loving what they do and doing it to the best of their ability. It is the sound that only the four of us could make, and I am prouder of it than any record we have ever made".
'FOUR' is released August 20th via Frenchkiss Records.
01. So He Begins To Lie
04. Real Talk
06. Day Four
09. Team A
11. The Healing
12. We're Not Good People