Bloc Party Back With Tweaked Lineup, Fifth Album ‘HYMNS’ [LISTEN]
Three years after declaring an indefinite hiatus, Bloc Party are back with a new lineup and their fifth studio album, HYMNS.
The English indie band's new album is scheduled to drop Jan. 29, but you can stream it in full below:
After the departure of drummer Matt Tong and bassist Gordon Moakes , singer Kele Okereke and guitarist Russell Lissack recruited 21-year-old drummer Louise Bartle (via YouTube) and bassist Justin Harris formerly of the Portland-based band Menomena.
HYMNS, the band's first album since 2012's Four, is very different than their previous releases. At some points it's the band's danciest output to date; at others it's their most solemnly contemplative.
The lead single and first track, "The Love Within," is dance-centric, but not necessarily an indication of the rest of the album. As NME reports, when the single dropped, a lot of fans took to social media to discuss the band's new synthy direction, to which Lissack tweeted "I'm a big fan of synths but I didn't play any on this record. Pushing my pedal board to the limit!"
Okereke's vocals are emotional and the band achieves a calm, almost atmospheric tone. As the album's title suggests, the lyrics are reminiscent of church songs, lending the album a Christian postpunk vibe.
Okereke said: "I'm not a religious person. However, I'm starting to realize that I do have a spiritual dimension, and HYMNS was a way of celebrating the things that matter to me, from the stars and the moon through to the rivers and the sea, as well as the joys of sex and intimacy. It's when I experience these things that I feel I am in the presence of the divine, so I wanted the HYMNS to reflect that," Noisey reports.
The band is currently touring and is scheduled to hit a few festivals, including SXSW, Shaky Knees and Governors Ball. Watch the band's live video for "Virtue" below.