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Yard Act Utopia 2023

Yard Act announce their highly anticipated second album, Where's My Utopia?

25 October 2023, 12:17 | Written by Tyler Damara Kelly

Leeds-based band Yard Act have unveiled details of their forthcoming second album, Where's My Utopia? alongside the single "Dream Job".

Where’s My Utopia? is the follow up to the Leeds band’s critically-acclaimed debut The Overload which arrived last January and was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize. The new album is a co-production between Yard Act and Gorillaz member Remi Kabaka Jr.

Speaking about the new single, Yard Act’s James Smith said: “"Dream Job" feels like an apt introduction to the themes explored on Where's My Utopia? - though not all encompassing. In part I was scrutinising and mocking myself for being a moaning ungrateful little brat, whilst also trying to address how the music industry is this rather uncontrollable beast that hurtles forward unthinkingly and every single person involved in it plays their part. Myself included, obviously. As with pretty much everything else going through my head last year, trying to find the right time to articulate the complexity of emotions I was feeling and the severity to which I was feeling them couldn't be found - or accommodated, so instead I tried to capture it in a pop song that lasts less than three minutes once the fog had cleared a bit. It’s good and bad. I'm still glad that everything that happened to me happened.”

The standalone single, "Trench Coat Museum" was the first original music that Yard Act shared since the release of their debut album, and their Elton John collaborations on "Tiny Dancer", and "100% Commitment".

As the band’s trajectory continuously shot upwards following their debut album, vocalist James Smith and his wife had also welcomed in a son. And it’s this duelling sense of responsibility and ambition, guilt, love, drive and everything in between that forms the narrative backbone of brilliantly exploratory second album Where’s My Utopia?.

Written in snapshots of time between a relentless touring schedule, Smith explains why Yard Act now feel capable of moving into newer sounds. “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,” he says. Across the record, influences ranging from Fela Kuti to Ennio Moricone via Spiller’s ‘00s pop smash "Groovejet" make themselves known.

Smith has allowed himself to reach lyrically deeper into himself than ever. Gone, largely, are the outward-facing character studies of yore, replaced with a set of songs that stare fully into the headlights of life, wrangling with the frontman’s own fears and foibles to create a sort of Promethean narrative - but with jokes. “You can commit to the idea that we’re just animals who eat and fuck and then we die, and that’s fine,” he suggests. “But for me, creativity always seems to be the best way of articulating the absolute minefield of what human existence is.”

Having already announced a huge run of shows in the UK and EU for spring 2024 – including the Eventim Apollo Hammersmith on 27 March – Yard Act have today revealed plans for their biggest hometown show to date at Millennium Square Leeds on 3 August.


  1. An Illusion
  2. We Make Hits
  3. Down By The Stream
  4. The Undertow
  5. Dream Job
  6. Fizzy Fish
  7. Petroleum
  8. When The Laughter Stops (feat. Katy J Pearson)
  9. Grifter's Grief
  10. Blackpool Illuminations
  11. A Vineyard for the North

Where's My Utopia? is set for release on 1 March via Island Records, and is available to pre-order now.

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