Photo: James Brown

Yard Act take stock of the moment in the spirited “Dark Days”

Leeds band Yard Act have shared a new song called “Dark Days”, which is the co-A-Side of their new single with recent release “Peanuts”. It’s also the last of their opening salvo, with the next item on their agenda to be an album. On “Dark Days”, singer James Smith says:

“With ‘Dark Days’ I wrote the first verse and chorus hook quite fast but then I didn’t know how to finish it. The demo Ryan sent was ace, real sparse. The drums were really driven but the bassline felt like it was suspended mid air in the verses, like a dub bassline or something. It created the illusion that you have time to stop and look around amidst the ensuing chaos. It’s like in war films when all the noise stops and you just hear the protagonist heavy breathing whilst they survey their surroundings in slow motion. Then the chorus hit with this ‘Captain Caveman’ vibe, it reminded me of that stop-motion cartoon from the 90’s ‘GOGS’ if anyone remembers that? I liked the juxtaposition of the bleak world with the cartoon bass line.

Despite all the advances humanity has made, the threat of devolution feels increasingly possible in the modern world, and on my bad days when I’m spiralling I can’t help but get trapped in my own head envisioning this post apocalyptic future we’re seemingly headed toward, so fuck knows why I decided to watch ‘Children of Men’ when I was feeling like that. If I’d fully remembered what happened in it, I don’t think I wouldve in the middle of a pandemic, but I did, and I actually came away feeling really uplifted by the ending. I saw hope in it, and it helped me finish the story. ‘Dark Days’ is the last of four singles before we start work on the album, of which none of those songs will be on.

It’s a world building song this one, everything we’ve put out so far is from the same universe, which is based on an imagined Yorkshire 100 years in the future. I’m writing a book titled ‘Carboot Man’ which weaves the narratives of those first four songs together and explores the characters from them in greater detail: The Trapper, Graeme and Grace (the woman from Peanuts). Hopefully that’ll be released next year if anyone wants to know more about those people and their lives.

With all that excellent and thought-provoking insight from Smith, there’s not much to add about “Dark Days”, except to say that it’s the most direct and – perhaps surprisingly – danceable track from Yard Act yet. The rhythm section, rightly highlighted above, keeps “Dark Days” pushing powerfully on through Smith’s torrent of fears and observations, by turns humorous and aggravated. Even as he sings of “a never ending cycle of abuse” in the chorus, the groove impels you to keep moving, striving for the light at the end of the tunnel.

Listen to “Dark Days” on streaming platforms or below.

“Dark Days” is out digitally today but will be released as a 7″ b/w “Peanuts” on February 26 through the band’s own Zen F.C. They’ve also got these live dates planned:

19 Jan | Hello 2021, DIY Magazine live stream
28 Feb | Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, socially distanced matinee show SOLD OUT
28 Feb | Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, socially distanced evening show SOLD OUT
30 May | Sonic Wave Festival, Digbeth
2 June | The Lexington, London SOLD OUT
5 June | Long Division Festival, Wakefield
2-5 Sep | End Of The Road Festival, Wiltshire

You can find Yard Act on Bandcamp, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.