Bloc Party’s Kele has revealed plans for his fifth solo album, The Waves Pt. 1, which lands on May 28th, and he’s also shared a brand new single, ‘Smalltown Boy’.
The new single follows the instrumental number, ‘The Heart Of The Wave’, which was Kele’s first hint at his new album. The Waves Pt. 1 follows 2019’s solo album 2042, his fourth-attempt as a solo artist away from Bloc Party and his most complete. Okereke has delved into a range of different territories throughout these albums since his thunderous electro-house style debut, The Boxer, back in 2010.
His third album, Fatherland, was a departure from dance music. He stepped foot into almost folk territory before 2042 saw him bring together Bloc Party-like guitars, combined with music influenced by his West African heritage. ‘Smalltown Boy’ is a gentle and delicate effort, a cover of the Bronski Beat dance track from 1984, but Kele makes it almost irrecognisable by moving it into a much calmer sonic sphere.
Commenting on the album being born out of a need to create during the lockdown, Okereke said: “What also became clear was that I still had the desire to create. Usually when I make records it’s an ensemble affair, there are usually lots of other musicians and singers I work with, but as we were in lockdown I did not have that luxury of being able to work with other musicians. I knew I had to fill in the space of this record entirely by myself, which was daunting but also very liberating. This album is literally the sound of me.
“As I didn’t have so much time in the days to work on the ideas I had to be very focused with the little time that I did have. During the night I would go for long walks around the city on my own, listening in the moonlight to what I had recorded in the day, rearranging the songs in my head, trimming the fat. It became very clear to me that I had the start of a new record and it was going to feel very different to what I had done before.”
Listen to ‘Smalltown Boy’ below.
The Waves Pt. 1 tracklisting:
- ‘Message From The Spirit World’
- ‘They Didn’t See It Coming’
- ‘The Way We Live Now’
- ‘How To Beat The Lie Detector’
- ‘The One Who Held You Up’
- ‘The Patriots’
- ‘Smalltown Boy’
- ‘From A Place Of Love’
- ‘The Heart Of The Wave’
- ‘Cradle You’ (Bonus Track)