Bloc Party is on another break following 2012’s Four, but frontman Kele Okereke isn’t taking any time off from music. He’s returned with a new solo album — his second following 2010’s The Boxer — and is premiering it today exclusively via Billboard.
“I feel like you become more confident in every record you make,” Okereke tells Billboard, referencing his career that began with Bloc Party’s acclaimed 2005 debut Silent Alarm. “Four was a very abrasive rock album, and the whole time we were touring that record, I had started to work on this record, Trick, because I felt that I needed something that was the complete opposite of that, sonically and emotionally. I felt that it needed to be something a lot more intimate and immersive.”
Trick — out Oct. 14 via Lilac Records — finds Okereke returning to the electronic music (particularly house, this time) he previously explored on The Boxer and Bloc Party’s divisive 2008 album Intimacy. Kele had DJ’d shows in the U.S., Europe, and Australia and worked with artists like Martin Solveig, RAC, and Hercules & Love Affair. When he began recording in New York and London, there was little doubt what direction he was going in.
“The process of hearing those sounds at 5 a.m. in clubs started to bleed into what I was making. Even though this record is a solo record, I was still having people’s input. It wasn’t like I was locked in a basement, making music all by myself… I don’t think I ever want to make a record completely in isolation. It’s good to have some sense of perspective, and it’s good to have other people sharing how it makes them feel.”
So even though it’s a solo album for Kele, there’s no shortage of outside input and influence in Trick. And speaking of outside influence, Kele has a handful of European live dates planned, but he hinted at more extensive touring in his recent chat with Billboard, so keep your eyes peeled.