Bloc Party mastermind Kele Okereke has shared his latest single, the looping and delicately sung ‘From a Place of Love’.
The song is Okereke’s fourth single of the year, after the previously released ‘The Heart of the Wave’, a cover of Bronski Beat’s ‘Smalltown Boy’ and ‘Ninevah’. All four are set to be featured on the singer’s upcoming fifth solo album, The Waves Pt. 1.
“The idea for this song came when I was watching the animated remake of She-Ra And The Princesses Of Power with my daughter,” Okereke explains. “There was something about the main villain Catra’s character that was compelling. I understood the idea that she had been hurt and now hurt, or hurting others, was her default setting. So I wrote this song for Catra, reimagined as a young woman but still carrying the demons from her past around with her. Ultimately ‘From A Place Of Love’ is a song about watching the people you love deal with things that are bigger than them, knowing that you can’t solve their problems but you can be by their side, even if that’s the only thing that you can do.”
That’s pretty heavy, especially as a message to try and explain to a young child, but Kele has a particular gift for nuance, whether it’s in lyric writing or musical composition, and ‘From a Place of Love’ is no different. No clattering percussion or mind-rattling bass runs to distract you, just a furiously oscillating guitar line, a few bottom end bass notes that occasionally bubble up, and long-held keyboard notes that provide colour more than explicit harmonic accompaniment.
It’s been mostly quiet on the Bloc Party front since their reconfigured lineup debuted in 2016 with Hymns. By now the band has strayed well past the initial indie-rock wave they rode in on with Silent Alarm, but it’s been fascinating to watch Kele evolve as a singular artistic voice with his solo work. For what it’s worth, he also mentioned that more Bloc Party music was being written as recently as last year, but unless Okereke has a palpable sense of loyalty to guitarist and co-writer Russell Lissack, which he very well could, I don’t see any reason for him to return to Bloc Party any time soon.
Check out the audio for ‘From a Place of Love’ down below. The Waves Pt. 1 will be released on May 28.