Getting ready for 2016 part 1: Bloc Party

Bloc Party 2015 01 - credit Rachael Wright - LOW

Photo Rachael Wright

Bloc Party will release their fifth album Hymns on January 29, 2016. They have released the video for the album’s opening track and first single ‘The Love Within’ today. The track is available to stream and download now.

The album artwork and tracklisting can be seen below:

Bloc Party - HYMNS art

1. The Love Within
2. Only He Can Heal Me
3. So Real
4. The Good News
5. Fortress
6. Different Drugs
7. Into The Earth
8. My True Name
9. Virtue
10. Exes
11. Living Lux

Additionally, deluxe versions of the album will feature the following tracks
12. Eden
13. Paradiso
14. New Blood
15. Evening Song

Hymns sees the two founding members of Bloc Party, Kele Okereke (vocals, guitar) and Russell Lissack (guitar), joined by new members Justin Harris (bass) and Louise Bartle (drums). Below you can watch the video of the band performing album track ‘Exes’ live for Lauren Laverne at 6Music in October.

‘Exes’ – Live at Maida Vale October 2015

Bloc Party vs. Franz Ferdinand

…have we just stepped back nearly 10 years?

Not as far as I’m concerned, I loved both those bands when they appeared, and thought Bloc Party’s Four album was a return to form last year, while I’m really looking forward to the forthcoming fourth Franz Ferdinand album.

Bloc Party seem to be about to go on hiatus again, but before they do, they are preparing to release a new five-track EP, The Nextwave Sessions EP.

The first track out from it is entitled ‘Ratchet’ and it’s mighty fine:

The EP also features four new tracks: ‘Obscene,’ ‘French Exit,’ ‘Montreal’ and ‘Children Of The Future.’

Meanwhile, Franz Ferdinand have announced that their new album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action will be out on August 26.

The tracklisting for the album is as follows:
‘Right Action’
‘Evil Eye’
‘Love Illumination’
‘Stand On The Horizon’
‘Fresh Strawberries’
‘Treason! Animals’
‘The Universe Expanded’
‘Brief Encounters’
‘Goodbye Lovers & Friends’

You can hear comeback single ‘Right Action’ below

You can also hear ‘Love Illumination’ below:

These two tracks are available as a limited 7″ (try Avalanche Records in Edinburgh) or the Domino Records website.

More music from my inbox


Ah…the end of term is just a matter of days away. Another April Fool’s Day survived. A handful of kids tried to pull the wool over my eyes…I got my own back by sending them off to look for tartan paint. Then pointing out that gullible has been removed from the dictionary.


The 17 Seconds inbox is full to the brim with music as ever, and I barely have time to listen to it all, let alone post it (there are bloggers who can do their blogs from their desk, I am not one of them!)

First up, Bloc Party. I didn’t really get to grips with last year’s Intimacy album, which I genuinely found to be frustrating as I’d been raving abut Bloc Party for many years and when the ‘Flux’ single came out towards the tail end of 2007 thought it was a sign they were going onto even bigger and better things. However, this is from the remixed version of the Intimacy album, entitiled, uh, Intimacy Remixed, and I love this. Maybe this will be the start of a return to form:

Bloc Party -‘Signs (Armand Van Helden Remix).’ mp3

meanwhile, the debut album from Swedish act Doctors and Dealers arrived on my mat via snailmail the other day, but I haven’t, alas, had time to check it all out. But on the evidence of this lead track, I’ll be kicking myself for not doing so…

Doctors and Dealers -‘On The Dancefloor.’ mp3

Is there another Britpop thing going on, that I’ve been too busy listening to black metal, grime, americana and stuff to pay attention to? Well, your shout…but I love this wee gem from the Rumble Strips:

The Rumble Strips -‘London.’ mp3

Some Covers For Saturday Part VII

The following covers came on a free CD given away by the NME a few months ago. Time to share with the 17 Seconds readers:

Manic Street Preachers – ‘Umbrella.’ mp3 (Rihanna cover)

The Futureheads -‘A Picture Of Dorian Gray.’ mp3 (Television personalities cover)

Lightspeed Champion -‘Back To Black.’ mp3 (Amy Winehouse cover)

CSS -‘Knife.’ mp3 (Grizzly Bear cover)

The Cribs -‘Modern Way.’ mp3 (Kaiser Chiefs cover)

Kaiser Chiefs -‘Golden Skans.’ mp3 (Klaxons cover)

The Kooks -‘Young Folks.’ mp3 (Peter Bjorn and John cover)

Does It Offend You, Yeah? -‘Whip It (live).’ mp3 (Devo cover)

Kate Nash -‘Men’s Needs.’ mp3 (Cribs cover)

My Chemical Romance -‘Song 2.’ mp3 (Blur cover)

Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly -‘D.A.N.C.E.’ mp3 (Justice cover)

The Wombats -‘Bleeding Love.’ mp3 (Leona Lewis cover)

Bloc Party -‘Say It Right.’ mp3 (Nelly Furtado cover)

And as a couple of bonuses:

The Streets -‘Your Song.’ mp3 (Elton John cover) (from a Radio 1 compilation)

Biffy Clyro -‘Umbrella.’ mp3 (from the same Radio 1 compilation)

More posts to come this weekend, including (hopefully) the long-searched for NME C81 tape…

Peel Slowly and see

Ah the legendary Mr. Peel. Famous quotes (many more of which can be found here
Peel’s compering debut on TOTP: “In case you’re wondering who this funny old bloke is, I’m the one who comes on Radio 1 late at night and plays records made by sulky Belgian art students in basements dying of TB.”

And of course, his comment about Aretha Franklin’s duet with George Michael ‘I Knew You Were Waiting’:”You know, Aretha Franklin can make any old rubbish sound good, and I think she just has.”

First up, from one of the greatest travelling albums of all time, Big Science, Laurie Anderson’s deeply spooky ‘O superman’
Laurie Anderson -‘O Superman.’ mp3 (1981 Festive Fifty no.34)

The Wedding Present had 47 entries in the various Festive Fifties between 1986 and 2004, including two entries in the millennium Festive Fifty as well as doing nine sessions. David Gedge’s other band, Cinerama had 13 entries in the Festive Fifty, and did ten Peel sessions. (When I have more time on my hands I will work out who did best out of David Gedge, Morrissey and Mark E. Smith)

Cinerama -‘King’s Cross.’ mp3 (1999 Festive Fifty no.18)

Throughout 2004, it was clear that Bloc Party were very definitely gathering pace, and they had three entries in the final ever Festive Fifty, including this:

Bloc Party -‘Little Thoughts.’ mp3 (2004 Festive Fifty no.44)

The stranglers were accused of being bandwagon jumpers during punk, Johnny Rotten labelling them short-haired hippies, but they did have some fantastic songs. Best of all was this:
The Stranglers -No More Heroes (1978 Festive Fifty no.33, 1979 Festive Fifty no.45, 1980 Festive Fifty no.58)

My all-time favourite single by The Jam:

The Jam-‘Strange Town.’ mp3 (1979 Festive Fifty no.27)

And a handful you might be a little surprised to see made the Festive Fifty. After all, weren’t they a little, y’know, poppy? What the hell, I think they’re great tracks and so did many of his listeners, evidently:

It’s easy to heap scorn on Gary Numan/Tubeway army, due to his sheer …what?, but he is slowly becoming critically rehabilitated over the advancing years, and this is a stellar track.

Tubeway Army – ‘Are Friends Electric?’ mp3 (1979 Festive Fifty no.39)

According to the website, Depeche Mode never did any sessions for Peel, nor had any entries in the Festive Fifty (nor did Erasure,, for that matter), but Vince Clark did score with two of his other, less-long lasting projects. The first ended up being a one-off, featuring none other than Fergal Sharkey on vocals (the Undertones had split up a few months previously)

Assembly -‘Never Never.’ mp3 (1983 Festive Fifty no.23)

…then the two albums only project that was Vince and none other than Alison Moyet.

Yazoo -‘Don’t Go.’ mp3 (1982 Festive Fifty no.60)

Is this a guilty pleasure? Oh, whatever. I’m not the only one.

Blancmange -‘Living On The Ceiling.’ mp3 (1982 Festive Fifty no.34)

This was the only entry Tears For Fears had, in those hallowed days of ‘new pop.’ It is a fantastic tune, and seems to have actually dated quite well, IMHO.

Tears For Fears -‘Mad World.’ mp3 (1982 Festive Fifty no.5)

This is my 35th post this month, or something BTW. Hope you are enjoying them. Please leave feedback, I don’t bite!

The 100th post

(when I started writing the blog, I hadn’t got my cats. this is them, several months ago)

Well, and here we are! This is the 100th post I have done on the blog. Over the course of seven months, my interest in music, along with comments on teaching and hitting thirty have given me something to work on. Whilst I still dream of having as many readers as some of the other blogs, the feedback I have received has been flattering, and if I had as little rubbish to deal with at school as I do here, life would be easier!!

Thanks to my long-suffering girlfriend, and my family for their feedback, and friends and readers (of course, these are not necessarily mutually exclusive) who have helped this come along. I have learned more about computers along the way, and there’s probably fewer rants about it all now…

What I’ve done this time is just to pick ten great tracks, no theme, just stuff I love, and really hope you do too. As ever, if you like’em, do go and buy them.

Here’s to the next one hundred posts. Enjoy the music.