Words by:

Welcome back to Selections, a series of artist-curated playlists from those in the know.

Leeds four-piece Yard Act pair funk-infused post-punk with sharp social commentary. The outfit – fronted by James Smith and his conversational half-sung half-spoken vocals – released early tunes The Trapper’s Pelt and Fixer Upper during the first lockdown in 2020. It was these initial tracks that spurred on Yard Act’s meteoric rise from DIY demos to vying with Years & Years for a number one spot in the UK Album Charts earlier this year with their debut album The Overload.

For today’s Selections playlist, Smith gathers tracks that speak to the current state of affairs and uncertainty for the future. The selections here spans Duma’s inventive strain of grindcore to Keeley Forsyth’s eerie incantations via Robert Glasper’s experimental jazz. “It’s a selection of new stuff I’ve been getting along with and a handful of slightly older tunes that had been on my mind recently,” Smith told us over email. “Looking over it again, though, a lot of these tunes hint at the untold devastation we are doing to the planet we call home.”

“I’m trying to figure out how to be honest with myself about the bleakness of it all whilst remaining positive and productive about what can still be done,” he continued. “I have to do that for my son. His future is why I can’t accept it’s already over. If there’s any correlation between these tunes and where my mind is at right now, it’s that.”

Delve into Yard Act’s Selections playlist below.

Yard Act play Bluedot, Jodrell Bank Observatory, on  21-24 July