Yard Act Share Video For New Song “When the Laughter Stops” (Feat. Katy J Pearson) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Friday, March 1st, 2024  

Yard Act Share Video For New Song “When the Laughter Stops” (Feat. Katy J Pearson)

Where’s My Utopia? Due Out March 1 via Republic; Video Features Actor David Thewlis

Feb 09, 2024 Photography by Phoebe Fox
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British post-punk band Yard Act are releasing a new album, Where’s My Utopia?, on March 1 via Republic. Now they have shared the album’s fifth single, “When the Laughter Stops,” via a music video. The song features Katy J Pearson and the video features actor David Thewlis (Naked, Wonder Woman, and various Harry Potter movies). He previously appeared in the Yard Act video for “100% Endurance,” from their first album. Watch it below, followed by the band’s upcoming tour dates.

Yard Act’s frontman James Smith had this to say about the song in a press release: “The sentiment of the lyrics gets to the heart of Where’s My Utopia? almost immediately, and finds the cynicism first spawned from the same circumstance I found myself in during ‘Dream Job’ now giving way to a more genuine sliver of misery. Fortunately—spoiler alert—I’ve managed to find a way out of this pit, for the time being.

“Whilst the lyrics came quick, musically it went through the wringer. As is often the case when Ryan presents a bass line, harmonically it’s pretty ambiguous and we all hear things differently. I was hearing the song in a pretty bluesy, minor key, whilst Sam [guitarist] heard a very saccharine and sweet major key tune. The song pedaled back and forth, we talked about ‘Lovefool’ by The Cardigans quite a lot if I remember correctly. During a recording session in Kettering with Russ Russell at Parlour Studios in December 2022, I was fucking about on a Roland Juno with the arpeggiator whirring away over the end. Ryan flipped the rate so it went half time and all of a sudden the eeriness of the track made sense; it sounded like some John Carpenter doomsday clock countdown or something. Sam reworked the guitars to sound like ‘High Voltage’ by Electric Six and we stripped away the funkier percussion and made the rhythm more aggressive, like ‘Seven Nation Army.’ Katy came to meet us at Metropolis in London to dub the chorus vocals and it gave the whole track a huge lift I’ll never have the voice for. She’s fantastic. I asked David Thewlis to recite Macbeth over the end for obvious reasons. The results speak for themselves!”

Regular collaborator James Slater had this to say about directing the song’s video: “This video continues the journey of The Visitor and follows on from ‘Petroleum,’ in which we saw her get dragged off by a couple of hitmen. ‘When the Laughter Stops’ reveals her fate… a prison full of old circus performers. Security is admittedly a little loose so all may not be lost. The videos we’ve made have all been part of a wider Yard Act cinematic universe and we’re in the process of turning the whole thing into a movie. Watch this space.”

Where’s My Utopia? is Yard Act’s second album, the follow-up to their acclaimed Mercury Prize-nominated debut album, 2022’s The Overload.

Where’s My Utopia? includes “The Trench Coat Museum,” a new eight-minute song the band shared in July that landed at #1 on our Songs of the Week list. Then when the album was announced they shared its second single, “Dream Job,” also via a music video (and also one of our Songs of the Week). Then they shared its third single, “Petroleum,” via a music video that stars British-based Australian comedian/actress Rose Matafeo (creator/star of Max’s acclaimed Starstruck). The album’s fourth single, “We Make Hits,” was again shared via a music video and also made our Songs of the Week list.

Where’s My Utopia? is less post-punk and more finds the band embracing an upbeat dance-rock vibe.

“The main reason that ‘post-punk’ was the vehicle for album one was because it was really affordable to do, but we always liked so much other music and this time we’ve had the confidence to embrace it,” Smith explains in a press release.

The press release lists Fela Kuti, Ennio Moricone, and Spiller’s 2000-released single “Groovejet” as influences on the new album. Remi Kabaka Jr. of Gorillaz co-produced the album with Yard Act. The band also features bassist Ryan Needham, guitarist Sam Shjipstone, and drummer Jay Russell.

For the new album, Smith says he has reached deeper inside himself for lyrical inspiration, relying less on the character studies that populated the songs on The Overload. “You can commit to the idea that we’re just animals who eat and fuck and then we die, and that’s fine,” he says. “But for me, creativity always seems to be the best way of articulating the absolute minefield of what human existence is.”

Read our print magazine interview with Yard Act on The Overload.

Read our rave 9/10 review of The Overload.

Katy J Pearson’s last album, Sound of the Morning, came out in 2022 via Heavenly.

Read our 2022 interview with Pearson on Sound of the Morning.

Yard Act Tour Dates:

29 Feb | Pryzm, Kingston, UK Early Show
29 Feb | Pryzm, Kingston, UK SOLD OUT
01 Mar | Rough Trade, Bristol. UK early show SOLD OUT
01 Mar | Rough Trade, Bristol. UK evening show SOLD OUT
03 Mar | Rough Trade East, London, UK early show SOLD OUT
03 Mar | Rough Trade East, London, UK evening show SOLD OUT
05 Mar | Rough Trade, Nottingham, UK early show
05 Mar | Rough Trade, Nottingham, UK evening show SOLD OUT
06 Mar | HMV Vault, Birmingham, UK
07 Mar | Jacaranda Baltic, Liverpool, UK
13 Mar | The Nick Rayns LCR (UEA), Norwich, UK
14 Mar | Rock City, Nottingham , UK
15 Mar | O2 Academy, Glasgow, UK
16 Mar | O2 Apollo, Manchester, UK
17 Mar | Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK
19 Mar | Mandela Hall, Belfast, UK
20 Mar | Vicar Street, Dublin, IE
22 Mar | Invisible Wind Factory, Liverpool, UK SOLD OUT
23 Mar | O2 Academy, Bristol, UK SOLD OUT
24 Mar | The Great Hall, Cardiff, UK
25 Mar | The Dome, Brighton, UK
27 Mar | Eventim Apollo, London, UK
04 Apr | Stereolux, Nantes, FR
05 Apr | Cabaret Sauvage, Paris, FR
06 Apr | Rock School Barbey, Bordeaux, FR
08 Apr | LAV, Lisbon, PT
09 Apr | Mon, Madrid, ES
11 Apr | La 2, Barcelona, ES
12 Apr | Le Transbordeur, Lyon, FR
13 Apr | Locomotiv Club, Bologna, IT
14 Apr | Santeria Toscana 31, Milan, IT
16 Apr | Mascotte, Zurich, CH
17 Apr | Muffathalle, Munich, DE
18 Apr | Festsaal Kreuzberg, Berlin, DE
19 Apr | Loppen, Copenhagen, DK SOLD OUT
20 Apr | Slaktkyrkan, Stockholm, SE
24 Apr | Uebel & Gefährlich, Hamburg, DE
25 Apr | Paradiso Main Hall, Amsterdam, NL
26 Apr | Doornroosje, Nijmegen,NL
27 Apr | Kantine, Cologne, DE
28 Apr | Les Nuits Botanique, Brussels, BE
30 May | Belly Up Tavern, Solana Beach, CA
31 May | The Regent Theater, Los Angeles, CA
1 Jun | Pappy and Harriet’s, Pioneertown, CA
3 Jun | The Catalyst Atrium, Santa Cruz, CA
4 Jun | The Independent, San Francisco, CA
6 Jun | Mississippi Studios, Portland, OR
7 Jun | Rickshaw Theatre, Vancouver, BC
8 Jun | The Crocodile, Seattle, WA
27 Jul | Truck Festival, Oxfordshire, UK
28 Jul | Tramlines, Sheffield, UK
02 Aug | Y-Not Festival, Derbyshire, UK
03 Aug | Millenium Square, Leeds, UK
10 Aug | Oya Festival, Oslo, NO
12 Aug | Sziget Festival, Budapest, HU
23 Aug | Victorious Festival, Southsea, UK
31 Aug | Meo Kalorama, Lisbon, PT

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