Bloc Party announce new album: “best thing that we have ever done”

Following a long hiatus and doubts over the future of the band, Bloc Party will finally release their new album Four on August 17th.

Frontman Kele says that the album, produced by Alex Newport (Death Cab For Cutie, The Mars Volta, At The Drive-In), is “best thing that we have ever done and finishing this record has taken us on quite a journey.”

Kele admits after the Intimacy album in 2008 “there was a big question mark over whether bloc party were ever going to make another record again. we were exhausted and bored and distant from one another”. The band members separated to do their own things – bassist Gordon Moakes had a baby, guitarist Russell Lissack joined Ash, drummer Matt Tong built a studio in his basement and Kele moved to New York to finish a book that he’d been working on for several years.

When the band reunited in New York last year they claimed that Kele has been fired from the group in an attempt to play down rumours of a return as they “had no idea if anything was going to come out of these sessions.” That story quickly got out of hand, but Kele says now that “it made us laugh in the process, which brought us closer together.”

After his solo album Kele had decamped to NY to “have a year without music in a different part of the world”. The only four records he took with him were Led Zeppelin IV, Deftones’ White Pony, Nicki Minaj’s mix tape Beam Me Up Scotty and Al Green’s greatest hits. Then, as Kele puts it “2011 happened”. The frontman says that “In terms of global history, [2011 was] the most dramatic year I have experienced in my entire life. It became impossible to switch off from the world when it seemed history was rewriting itself day after day. So I did what I always try to do to make sense of the world, I started writing lyrics and something became clear to me, I needed to put my band back together.”

The band is due to play a headline set at Splendour in July and Kele says to expect a passionate return – “in the past we have tried to hide the passion with which we perform, tried to obscure it, manipulate it so it didn’t resemble us anymore. We have learnt a lot from those years but we feel with this record we have to move forward, we have to challenge ourselves… we have to push ourselves to the limit of our abilities or else there is no point in carrying on.”