The first new Bloc Party track in three years introduces us to the Londoners’ rather eyebrow-raising new sound.
The band have been on hiatus since 2013, parting ways the summer after the release of fourth album ‘Four’. In the interim, frontman Kele Okereke released ‘Trick’, his second solo album, while bassist Gordon Moakes and drummer Matt Tong both departed, leaving Kele and guitarist Russell Lissack behind. Moakes and Tong have been replaced by Justin Harris (of Portland indie rock outfit Menomena) and 21-year-old drummer Louise Bartle, and new album ‘Hymns’ is on the way.
‘The Love Within”s intro, with its tension-building synth and Kele’s tentative, little boy vocals, suggests classic Bloc Party wistfulness – something in the vicinity of ‘Silent Alarm”s ‘So Here We Are’. Then, however a big oscillator effect pipes up like a whining klaxon and a snappy disco beat starts a’rolling. From then on, the track very much smacks of Kele’s solo material, mixing heartache and dancefloor bonhomie. It’s like going in for a kiss and coming away with a big, drunken boogie.
The highlight, as with so many of Bloc Party’s previous successes, is the huge, euphoric chorus. “Come back, prevail” implores Kele, “let your eyes meet this world”. As is often the case with Okereke, the song doubles as a love letter to music itself. “The love within is moving upwards/ The melody is taking over”, the frontman wails, before rounding off with, “So don’t you want to get high?” See you down the club.