Yard Act

Where's My Utopia? (Island Records)

Contact Jessica Linker & Jacob Daneman about Yard Act

Leeds quartet Yard Act announce their new album, Where’s My Utopia?, out March 1st on Republic Records, and present its lead single/video, “Dream Job.” Co-produced by Yard Act and Gorillaz member Remi Kabaka Jr., Where’s My Utopia? follows the band’s debut, 2022’s The Overload, and this year’s much-lauded single “The Trench Coat Museum.” Additionally, Yard Act unveil a 2024 tour of North America, Europe and the UK (including a hometown headline show at the 5,750 capacity Millennium Square Leeds).  A full list of tour dates is below, including the November US run just around the corner. West Coast Summer 2024 dates go on sale Oct. 27th at 10am local time and all other shows are on sale now..


Since the release of The Overload, “a debut album bursting with character” (Uncut), Yard Act – frontman and vocalist James Smith, bassist Ryan Needham, guitarist Sam Shjipstone, and drummer Jay Russell — have become one of the most exciting indie success stories of this decade. They’ve ticked off previously unimaginable milestones ranging from landing at Number Two on the UK charts, UK (Later … with Jools Holland) and US (The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon) television debuts, being shortlisted for the Mercury Prize, and a co-sign from Elton John who joined the band to guest on a reworking of The Overload album closer, “100% Endurance.” They’ve spent the past two years traversing the globe, playing festivals from Tokyo to Texas, and selling out tour after tour along the way.


While the band’s trajectory continued to shoot upwards, and the brotherly bond between the four band members strengthened, Smith and his wife welcomed their first child. This dueling sense of responsibility and ambition, guilt, love, drive and everything in between forms the narrative backbone of Yard Act’s brilliantly exploratory second album, Where’s My Utopia? 


Lead single, “Dream Job,” “feels like an apt introduction to the themes explored on Where’s My Utopia? — though not all encompassing,” comments Smith. “In part, I was scrutinizing 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 song is wryly upbeat, and lands like The Blockheads doing “Club Tropicana” — a not entirely believable thumbs up from the trenches. The “Dream Job” video was directed by James Slater, marking the band and director’s 7th collaboration (“with many more to come”).


Written in snapshots of time in the midst of touring, the album is a giant leap forward into broad and playful new sonic waters, sprinkled with strings, choirs, and voice-acting clips courtesy of comedian pals Nish Kumar, Rose Matafeo, and more. It was a communal four-way effort built on chemistry, familiarity and the trust to challenge and push each other creatively. “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,” James explains. Across the record, influences range from Fela Kuti to Ennio Moricone via Spiller’s ‘00s pop smash “Groovejet.”


It’s a celebratory palette upon which Smith 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.”



    May 30, 2024
    Solana Beach, CA
    Belly Up Tavern

    May 31, 2024
    Los Angeles, CA
    The Regent Theatre

    Jun 01, 2024
    Pioneertown, CA
    Pappy and Harriet's

    Jun 03, 2024
    Santa Cruz, CA
    The Catalyst Atrium

    Jun 04, 2024
    San Francisco, CA
    The Independent

    Jun 06, 2024
    Portland, OR
    Mississippi Studios

    Jun 07, 2024
    Vancouver, BC
    Rickshaw Theatre

    Jun 08, 2024
    Seattle, WA
    The Crocodile

    Oct 02, 2024
    Minneapolis, MN
    Fine Line

    Oct 03, 2024
    Cudhay, WI
    X-Ray Arcade

    Oct 04, 2024
    Chicago, IL

    Oct 05, 2024
    Cleveland, OH
    Grog Shop

    Oct 07, 2024
    Toronto, ON
    Axis Club

    Oct 08, 2024
    Montreal, QC
    Bar Le Ritz

    Oct 10, 2024
    Philadelphia, PA
    Union Transfer

    Oct 11, 2024
    Cambridge, MA
    The Sinclair

    Oct 12, 2024
    New York, NY
    Irving Plaza

    Oct 15, 2024
    Washington, DC
    Black Cat

    Oct 16, 2024
    Asheville, NC

    Oct 17, 2024
    Atlanta, GA
    Terminal West