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GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT Title ‘Hymns’ Where Lynchmob Studio, London Songs ‘So Real’, ‘Fortress’, ‘Different Drugs’, ‘Exes’ Due 29th January 2016 Other Deets This’ll be the band’s first album with new members Justin Harris and Louise Bartle.

“this idea of death was never far away.” kele okereke

What’s Going On With... bloc party w h at’s goi n g o n wit h...

bloc party Recruiting new members and creating modern hymns: Bloc Party are back and it’s the start of a brand new chapter.

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n the past few years, the story of Bloc Party has taken a tumultuous turn. After a short hiatus in 2009, they returned to form with ‘Four’, only to then say goodbye to half of the band. Now, however, life’s looking up. Having recruited two new members – bassist Justin Harris and drummer Louise Bartle – Kele Okereke and Russell Lissack are returning with fifth effort ‘Hymns’. It’s a whole new chapter. “Despite all the recent turmoil with the band,” begins frontman Kele Okereke, “I was in a very calm headspace. I think the nature of the music that I wanted to make, it brought a sense of calmness; I wasn’t really stressed about anything. It felt like the music was coming from a different place, like there was a purpose with this record that I don’t think there has been with any of the others we’ve made.” The departure of Gordon Moakes and Matt Tong seems

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to have opened up the group to explore a little. “This record was really an opportunity for the freedom to do what we wanted,” he says. “We had to make sure that we captured all the delicacy and have the opportunity to take it where we want to take it. I was conscious that it needed to feel serene, I guess. Given the nature of the title and where everything’s coming from, I realised it had to have a certain reverence. I don’t think we’ve ever been able to explore that fully in our previous incarnations. Now, we have a new chemistry and I was keen to explore that.” Explaining that he wanted their new songs to feel “like modern hymns”, the subject matter of the record isn’t such a surprise. “I’m not a religious person,” Kele

offers, while conceding he did grow up with religion at the forefront of his life. “It was a challenge to me to make a record that explored what I believe faith to be. It forced me to ask questions of myself that I’ve never really asked before. “I had a very religious upbringing, and although it was never something that I really subscribed to, I still think there are residues of those experiences that have influenced me as an artist. Looking back at our previous records, I see now there are lots of references to faith and religion in the music. That was part of the reason why, on ‘The Love Within’” - the first track taken from the record - “I took a lyric from ‘The Prayer’ from our second record. It just seemed to make sense really, that direct reference

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