Tuesday, October 24, 2006
The time is now: A Weekend in the City, Bloc Party's second full-length album, is set for release on Vice Records on February 6, 2007. Produced by Jacknife Lee (U2, Snow Patrol), and recorded in Dublin, Ireland at a studio called Grouse Lodge, Bloc Party's newest collection of songs is a stunning, intense and brilliant follow-up to their celebrated debut, Silent Alarm.
Upon release of Silent Alarm in spring 2005, Bloc Party were catapulted into the global spotlight, garnering worldwide fans and critical acclaim, with the NME voting Silent Alarm "Album of the Year" and Urb Magazine calling Bloc Party "Band of the Year." They made their American television debut on "Late Show with David Letterman," which was soon followed by a performance on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno"; they graced a number of magazine covers, and provided the year with one of the most ubiquitous albums. With each subsequent tour around the world, love for the band only grew stronger as they played hundreds of sold out shows, and performed one of the most anticipated and rapturous sets at this year's Coachella festival. All the while, they were working diligently on their brand new masterpiece…
A Weekend in the City is inspired by lead singer Kele Okereke's interest in what he calls "the living noise of a metropolis." On Weekend, the band captures every detail – from the ebullient to the mundane – of daily life in a modern city, and the quiet desolation that suffuses everything from commuting to casual sex, from going out on a Friday night to the long ride home near the early hours of the morning. These are songs desperate to understand the meaning that pulses under the moments of our every day; they're bursting with tension, paranoia, sadness, love, and an intense need for reasons as to how city life has become so displacing. Not since Radiohead's OK Computer has a British band explored the diseased state of modernity so completely.
Songs for Weekend were written in a process that Okreke says was "quite fluid and continuous," beginning over a year ago at soundchecks and continuing right up until a week before the album was completed. While Silent Alarm established the band's signature sound – angular, taut guitars, danceable drum beats, wiry bass lines and Kele's emotional vocal cries, Weekend has a lot more muscle and expansive depth, creating a darker, more sprawling, more beautiful sound. Influenced by the likes of Philip Glass, Timbaland, Aaliyah and Bartok, the songs explore different uses of rhythms, voices and moods, allowing the band to be more playful with the beats they created or choosing to add an element of dissonance missing from previous compositions. The sounds of the instruments add to the theme of modern alienation that the band hoped to explore – Kele and Russell Lissack's guitars are wild, unhinged, harder than ever before, while Matt Tong's drums are often manipulated to border on mechanical, and Gordon Moakes' bass lines keep everything anchored on the city streets. Weekend is an album haunted by the noise of voices, with choral-esque chanting, singing and humming, in addition to some of Kele Okereke's finest vocal performances ever recorded. Weekend also marks the first time the band has ever used strings on any of their recordings. The result is a triumph of an album, an even more vital piece of music than their debut was two years ago.
The cover art for A Weekend in the City will be taken by acclaimed photographer Rut Blees Luxemburg, who is famous for her beautiful late night cityscapes. The band chose her for the record because, according to Okereke, "it was important that we captured London breathing."
The tracklisting for A Weekend in the City is…..
1. Song For Clay (Disappear Here)
2. Hunting For Witches
3. Waiting For the 7:18
4. The Prayer
7. Where Is Home?
9. I Still Remember