Photo: James Brown

Yard Act explore toxic behaviour through a domestic murder on “Peanuts”

Yard Act have previously released two of our favourite tracks of the year with their debut singles “The Trapper’s Pelts” and “Fixer Upper”, and complete the hattrick this week with “Peanuts”. While the title suggests something quite trivial, Yard Act always have a lot more going on in their minds, and singer James Smith lays it all out in this quote:

“While ‘Peanuts’ is quite clearly about a woman killing her imaginary husband, it’s also about accepting that we don’t all see the world in the same way. It feels to me that divisions are getting more extreme. We’re continually squeezing what should be a wide ranging spectrum of opinions and beliefs into two immovable castles towering either side of an unelected, unaccountable line in the sand. We’re so certain we’re right that we can’t comprehend why someone else could see the world differently to the way we do.

“I’m as disappointed in those who chortle ‘gammon’ as I am those who cry ‘snowflake’ because it’s just doing the same thing but filtered through a different version of reality. I think the only way we’re going to get through this is by communicating and empathising with each other, so even though people might have been brainwashed into believing utter bollocks it’s important to accept that their emotions are real. That’s why ‘Peanuts’ ends with a compromise in the kitchen. Empathising with her friend and validating her emotions is the only way she can help her begin to move on from the bonkers version of reality that’s built up around her. We’ve all got tunnel vision, and we’re all cowering in the burrows of our own stubborn minds.”

The first half of “Peanuts” is a jerky and buffeting post-punk track as we’ve known Yard Act to make, and the troubled couple at the centre of the narrative could easily be neighbours with ‘Graeme’ from previous track “Fixer Upper”. The band then open us up to something we haven’t heard from them before, diverting “Peanuts” into a spoken-word breakdown, with a skillfuly deployed sample of ‘The World’s Most Famous Whistler’, Ronnie Ronalde – who just happens to be the grandfather of new guitarist Sam Shjipstone. This background of whistling and bird chirping conjures a serene atmosphere where a radio play-like scene unfolds, where the plan for the central murder is hatched.

Yet another song that demands multiple listens to fully grasp all the levels it’s working on, “Peanuts” keeps us waiting with baited breath for what Yard Act will do going forward.

“Peanuts” is out today via the band’s own label Zen F.C..You can find Yard Act on Bandcamp, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.