Yard Act The Overload
(Pic - Phoebe Fox)

Yard Act Release Debut LP ‘The Overload’

The buzzing Leeds band Yard Act are preparing to release their highly anticipated debut The Overload on Jan 21st via Island Records and their own imprint Zen F.C., and today they are sharing their final single from the album, a track called “Rich.” The album arrives following a banner year for the band, and the excitement around them has continued to heat up at the start of 2022. Even Elton John thinks they are the best band around right now.

Speaking about the new track, which follows the November single “Payday“, frontman James Smith explains: “‘Rich’ is the natural successor to ‘Payday’. That’s the end of the story right? Success! Status! Security! Except, there’s always more money to be made, and you’re deemed a failure if your life starts to head back in the direction it came from. It’s about being so lost you’re sure you know exactly where you are and how you got there. I also wrote it because I thought it would be quite funny if Yard Act made a shit ton of money after I’d written an anti-capitalist concept album. It’ll be funny if I’m singing this song on stage when I’ve made my mint.

He elaborates: “At worst it makes no sense, at best it comes off as pretentious, but that’s the point I’m trying to make when I write anything really. Things only really make sense if you exclude the bits that don’t back up the point you’re trying to make. I’m a hypocrite just like everyone else. I don’t have the answers and I’m just trying to do the best I can. It’ll never be good enough though. Enjoy the ride, life is short and you never know what’s round the corner.

The accompanying video is the band’s fourth collaboration with director James Slater and his production team, following ‘The Overload’, ‘Land Of The Blind’, and ‘Payday’ and further develops the world Yard Act have created and the characters that exist within it.

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

21  Jan | Rough Trade East, London, UK 12pm
21  Jan | Rough Trade East, London, UK 6p– SOLD OUT
22 Jan | Sister Ray / 100 Club Outstore 1pm
22 Jan | Pryzm, Kingston-Upon-Thames, UK 9pm
23 Jan | Pie and Vinyl Instore, Southsea, UK 1pm
23 Jan | Resident Music Instore, Brighton, UK 6pm – SOLD OUT
24 Jan | Truck Music Store, Oxford, UK  1pm
23 Jan | Rough Trade, Bristol, UK, 6:30PM – SOLD OUT
27 Jan | Rough Trade, Nottingham, UK – SOLD OUT

2 Feb | L’Aéronef, Lille, FR
3 Feb | Trix, Borgorhaut, BE
4 Feb | Paradiso Kleine Zaal, Amsterdam, NL – SOLD OUT
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 – SOLD OUT
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 – SOLD OUT
3 Mar | Mono, Glasgow, UK – SOLD OUT
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
30 Apr | Liverpool Sound City, UK

11 May | Trinity, Bristol, UK
18 May | Rescue Rooms, Nottingham – SOLD OUT
19 May | Zanzibar, Liverpool – SOLD OUT
20 May | Irish Centre, Leeds, UK – SOLD OUT
21 May | Band on the Wall, Manchester, UK – SOLD OUT
22 May | The Foundry, Sheffield – SOLD OUT
26 May | O2 Academy, Leicester, UK
27 May | Arts Centre, Norwich – SOLD OUT
28 May | Wide Awake Festival, London

22 Jul | Truck Festival, Oxford, UK
24 Jul | Tramlines, Sheffield, UK
29 Jul | Deer Shed, Thirsk UK
30 Jul | Ynot Festival, Derbyshire, UK

5-7 Aug | Off Festival, Katowice, PL

9-13 Aug | Oya Festival, Oslo, NO

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

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