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Bloc Party's Kele announces new solo album


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 Boxerback 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:

  1. ‘Message From The Spirit World’
  2. ‘They Didn’t See It Coming’
  3. ‘The Way We Live Now’
  4. ‘How To Beat The Lie Detector’
  5. ‘Dungeness’
  6. ‘Ninevah’
  7. ‘The One Who Held You Up’
  8. ‘The Patriots’
  9. ‘Intention’
  10. ‘Smalltown Boy’
  11. ‘From A Place Of Love’
  12. ‘The Heart Of The Wave’
  13. ‘Cradle You’ (Bonus Track)