Put simply, Bloc Party acoustically fuses U.K.-style electronic beats with pedal-delayed indie rock guitar licks and fat bass lines, which can make even the most serious songs danceable. Matt Tong, the drummer for Bloc Party, told NUVO via international airwaves that the band is currently recording in a U.K. studio before coming to the U.S. to pick up their tour in Chicago.
“We’re working on a new jam that we’ll hopefully release in the next couple of months in the U.K.,” Tong says. But, the band’s next album won’t come out for some time, as Bloc Party tours in support of their current release, A Weekend in the City.
After only one full release (2005’s Silent Alarm), the band has released a collection of remixes, Silent Alarm Remixed, including tracks reworked by Ladytron, M83, Erol Alkin and Mogwai. They’re part of the revolution of indie rock and electronic worlds colliding, along with bands like Battles and Mute Math.
Touring with Bloc Party are indie pop sisters Smoosh from Seattle and Final Fantasy (Owen Pallett), the one-man band from Toronto. Pallett starts with a tap or simple tune on his violin and begins to loop and layer samples while singing, playing both covers (like Bloc Party’s “This Modern Love” or Mariah Carey’s “Fantasy”) or original compositions. He’s known for his work both touring and recording with Arcade Fire. Tong calls Pallett “one of the most gifted musicians I’ve ever seen.”
Smoosh also has a lot going for them. Their music has been compared to Tori Amos and P.J. Harvey. The band has opened for Pearl Jam and other high profile bands, and they recently toured with the Eels. Many acts have opened for big bands, but what’s amazing is that Smoosh’s members are only ages 13 and 15, and their younger sister joined them this summer for the Eels tour, and she’s only 11. “It’s gonna be scary how good they’ll be when they’re older,” says Tong of Smoosh.
Bloc Party will perform a free DJ set at LUNA Music the day of the show at 6 p.m. The band performs such sets occasionally, mostly at clubs, according to Tong. In case you’re curious about what you’ll hear: “I prefer to go for the soft rock hits,” he says, and adds, jokingly, “[but] the other guys, they play Foreigner and Rush.”