White Double LP
HYMNS is a rebirth for Bloc Party. After 16 years as a band, countless world tours and awards and four studio albums, Kele Okereke and Russell Lissack are taking it back to where it all began.
As the title suggests, the fifth Bloc Party record is about faith and devotion, but it is not, Kele insists, a religious epiphany. “I grew up in a religious house so I’m fully aware of the imagery, but I’m not Christian. It’s not something I subscribe to.” Instead, the concept came to him after seeing the author Hanif Kureishi, whom Kele has admired since he was at school, talk at the Southbank Centre in London. The author of My Beautiful Laundrette and Intimacy was discussing evangelical art and how unfashionable it has become. “And that point stuck with me because it seemed like for me music had originated in a religious place. The first music I ever heard was hymns at school. I started to think, if I was going to make music that had a spiritual dimension, that was sacred to me and to the things that I held important, how would I do it?”
The result is a record that sounds like a band growing and changing, pushing new sounds via new approaches, and resulting in more free, less constricted Bloc Party. HYMNS marks a departure for the band sonically, too, with Kele and Russell trying sounds and approaches that they have never previously explored.