CD (WEBB118SCD) [Pre-order here]
1. The Prayer
2. We Were Lovers
3. The Prayer (Phones Metal Jackin’ Mix)
7" one (WEBB118S)
A. The Prayer
7" two (WEBB118SX)
A. The Prayer
B. Emma Kate's Accident
Exclusive remixes of 'The Prayer' will include a reworking by the hotly tipped Parisian DJ, Para One, a perfect drum and bass production from the UK’s Break & Silent Witness and a dirty roller from new UK duo Does It Offend You, Yeah?
Calling all vaguely musical Bloc Party fans...this is the chance for you to get your Bloc Party covers heard. All you have to do is record your version of any Bloc Party song - it could be a solo project or a band effort - and send it here.
There are no other restrictions, so express yourself in whatever way you so desire. If that means playing a recorder through your nose, then so be it! Banjos, accordions, finger cymbals and xylophones are also more than welcome, so get your creative juices flowing!
The best/most original cover versions will be added to the 'BLAG PARTY' collection for everyone to hear, and the plan is to send the Bloc boys a CD so that they can hear the fruits of your labour.
THE PROJECT SO FAR...
A beautiful version of 'Banquet' sent in by Slowbear The Great (a.k.a. Joe O'Callaghan). This bedroom recording uses double tracked vocals, giving it a smoky, Elliott Smith-esque feel. It's completely different to the original track (Banquet isn't a song you'd expect to hear an acoustic rendition of!) but it works extremely well.
2.The 90's - So Here We Are
The 90's is the work of Samuel Hemmilä from Sweden. He created this Lemon Jelly-esque remix by looping the hook of the song (the guitar parts in the beginning) whilst generating new beats and structure from scratch.
Igor Kurtagic, who resides in Sarajevo, Bosnia, has reworked the original 'Blue Light' into a lighters-aloft electro-anthem. The vocal melody of the original track is the only recognizable element – he's opted for piano loops, bass and beats instead of guitars.
Matoran (the pseudonym of Richard Sallis from Australia) has covered this extremely rare Bloc Party song, no mean feat considering it only exists in the form of this grainy video. Matoran chose this track because it's one of his favourite Bloc songs and he wanted to hear a studio version, even if that meant having to record it himself!
Tempera[mental] (Gordi Shephard from Surrey, England) created this 'electremo' cover of 'Like Eating Glass' on his laptop using just a keyboard, a microphone and some nifty software. It's Bloc Party meets Daft Punk meets The Postal Service!
A tender, folky take on 'Blue Light', recorded by Jon Solo in his Brooklyn home studio. Producers of 'The O.C.' take note...this needs to soundtrack your next series!
Another cover of 'Blue Light'! This atmospheric acoustic version was created by Noah Blackwell in St. Louis, Missouri.
A sublime version of 'So Here We Are' by Glaswegian electro artist iamchemist...the euphoric sound of robots falling in love to a soundtrack of celestial synths.
9. Robert Melhuish - She's Hearing Voices
A note-perfect instrumental cover of 'She's Hearing Voices', played by Robert Melhuish over a backing track.
The first cover of any 'A Weekend In The City' tracks! This is a slow-burning, piano-led rendition of 'I Still Remember' performed by 20-year-old film student Ethan Waters from Auckland, New Zealand.
24-year-old Dave Heavyside from Adelaide, Australia, recorded this haunting, stripped-down acoustic version of 'The Prayer'.
Sweden's Birch Street Project replace the Euro-techno vibe of the original track with some Bossa Nova-styled rhythms, off-beat acoustic strums and sultry female vocals.
An acoustic version of 'Flux' recorded by Jeremiah Satterthwaite, aka 'Of Yesteryears', and also featuring his friend Karin Haase on backing vocals. The track is pretty much unrecognisable from the original, with hushed 'Iron & Wine'-esque vocals, finger-picked acoustic guitar and a smidgen of violin.
A beautiful stripped down live performance of 'Kreuzberg', recorded at the Kulak Proms, Belgium. Featuring Sofie Vandeputte on piano/vocals and Jozefien Vanherpe on cello.
The photo, entitled 'A Modern Project', was taken by German photographer Rut Blees Luxemburg, who's well known for her gritty night-time views of London. It shows London's Westway at night, streaming with traffic and towering over an illuminated sports complex.
In this week's NME, Luxemburg explains why this particular artwork was chosen: "All the complex activities that the city encapsulates are expressed in this work, all the possibilities of city life. This album cover really reflects the main thrust of the record."
HUNTING FOR WITCHES: With a rhythm built around vocal samples, this track confronts the cultural aftermath of the 7/7 London bombings. Okereke mocks one particular tabloid: "The Daily Mail says there are enemies among us/Taking our women and taking our jobs".
WAITING FOR THE 7:18: A snapshot of city life, 'Waiting for the 7:18' is set on the London Underground but aims to capture the alienation of modern living. "We’re surrounded by people all the time, yet we sit in silence", muse Bloc Party over an intense chorus of harmonies.
THE PRAYER: Over crunching beats and humming backing vocals clicked together with crunk-style production, this examination of insecurity turns weakness on its head. "Is it so wrong to crave recognition?" wonders Okereke before begging a higher power: "Tonight, make me unstoppable and I will charm, I will dazzle, I will outshine all".
UNIFORM: This description of identikit mall-rats slowly drowning in mindless consumerism initially feels like another look at hedonism. Then, after a stark key change it suddenly dives lower, looking for a deeper cause. "I am a martyr/I just need a motif", howls Kele as Bloc Party ponder the dangers of where a need for fulfillment might lead.
ON: Pulsing beats open this very personal song charting the buzzed-up high of falling in love. With references to London pubs and the singer feeling "hopeful and stutter-free", soaring strings slip into the track, taking it to a euphoric and optimistic climax.
WHERE IS HOME?: Another autobiographical song recalls the funeral of his 18-year-old cousin Christopher Aleneme, who was killed in a racially motivated attack. The lyrics articulate the "second generation blues" of British-born children of immigrants like Okereke. "In every headline we are reminded this is not home for us," he laments.
KREUZBERG: Matt Tong’s urgent drumming creates an out-of-control atmosphere for this song which is set on a night out in Berlin. The singer is disillusioned after mistaking a drunken sexual encounter for love: "After the sex the bitter taste of being fooled again."
I STILL REMEMBER: Beginning with a chiming guitar, this is a delicate but joyous head-rush which recalls lost love. "You should have asked me for it/How could I have said no?" belts Okereke, not with regret, but with happy memories.
SUNDAY: "It was a heavy night/I can’t remember what I said", sings Okereke. With atmospheric guitars and stirring drums, it celebrates the little things that make life worthwhile. "I love you in the morning when you’re still hung over", goes the smile-inducing climax.
SRXT: The closer starts off with brooding guitars, before a Sigur Ros-like wall of sound crashes in. "I called up Eugene/Told him I was drowning", cries Kele as this unexpected finale draws together the album’s themes of insecurity and alienation, yet remains inspiring and hopeful.
NME article typed up and all artwork created by members of AlwaysNewDepths.com
"In 1967 Jimi Hendrix opened for The Monkees. In 1969 Alice Cooper opened for Ike and Tina Turner. In 2006 Bloc Party will open for Panic! At The Disco. Okay, maybe I'm being a little too dramatic. The first two pairings I mentioned were completely insane and I'm fairly certain were only brought about by the rampant drug use of the late 60's. The Bloc Party / P!ATD pairing is nothing but a thinly veiled attempt at exposing Bloc Party to a wider, American audience. It is no secret that it is often difficult for British bands to break America. Most bands enjoy small mentions in the Rolling Stone, Spin and Blender magazines as "Bands to Watch". They do a small club tour, and then fade into oblivion. Bloc Party is trying to rage against that machine. I'm left asking myself, can we really blame them?
I must admit, when I first heard of the pairing, I felt a sharp pain in my chest. I am not a P!ATD fan. Yes, I have listened to their album and found them to be like all the other manufactured one-album-wonders that seem to be most popular with 12-15 year old kids. Most P!ATD fans are asking "Who the hell is Bloc Party?" and most Bloc Party fans are asking "Why God, why?". But consider this. Almost every band that has ever existed has aspired to reach millions of people, play live before thousands, and reach legendary status. Bloc Party is no different.
When I first heard 'Silent Alarm', I took it everywhere with me, playing it to almost everyone I came in contact with. A loyal disciple trying to spread the word. I exposed maybe 30-40 people to Bloc Party, whereas this upcoming tour has the potential to reach thousands. We should want other people to like the music we personally like. They as a band and we as fans do not get to pick who becomes a fan. We all know that there is a culture of "hipsters" out there who immediately discredit a band the minute they appear on MTV's TRL, but those hipsters aren't real fans in the first place. They are the people who try to "discover" bands before anyone else so they can say they knew about them first. So what?
Let's remember why we became Bloc Party fans in the first place. Something in the music touched us. Spoke to us. Made us understand or be understood. Who are we to deny anyone else that experience? Besides, maybe, just maybe, one of those 11 or 12 year olds will go to the concert and come out of it saying "Yeah, I went for P!ATD but Bloc Party was better". Let's pray."
"On November 7th, the boys of Bloc will return to America at the behest of Panic! At The Disco. As an avid Bloc-head, and a fan of rock music, I was duly shocked and worried when I heard this news. The last two years have seen Panic! rise meteorically to the top, adding makeup and cabaret dancers to the necessary props for rock music.
How can people truly believe that these people are the future of music? This question was returned by a scowl. And as my friends explained their undying love for Panic!, I began to fear for the state of rock and roll. I cried as My Chemical Romance applied their eyeliner, I wept as Fall Out Boy threw their guitars around their necks and, in the end, my blubbering made no difference. Bloc Party have agreed to follow them, and I believe I know why they would tour with such a different band.
P!ATD have done something that very few bands have ever been able to do. They have taken an extremely broad music genre and infused it with a signature sound and style (ballroom dancing anyone?). Bloc Party has done the same thing with their music; they've have taken the conventions of rock music and spun them around, adding angular guitars and danceable drums. For God’s sake, the new album has a song based around the bolero. While Bloc Party surely won’t be abandoning vintage tees for frilly blouses, they do share that distinction with Panic!.
In the UK, the boys of Bloc Party have broken through from the underground, and have done so with a distinct flair - they can’t be pigeonholed, remember! So when Bloc head into foreign territory, we shall follow with open minds, and don’t worry, they will excite and please our musical wishes."
And I could also do with one or two...
So please get in touch If you think you can help out!
I'm afraid I can't pay you, but you will get the privilege of having your work seen by hundreds of people around the world every day. And it'd be good to put on your CV (if you have one)...
Thanks! Jim x