Yard Act are one of the big breakthrough bands so far this year.
Their debut LP The Overload (Island) broke 21st century vinyl records for a new act when it charted at No.2.
Now the Leeds band have been given the superstar seal of approval from Elton John, who’s also a tastemaker of new music via his Rocket Hour show on Apple Music 1.
Yard Act have collaborated with Elton John on a brand new studio version of 100% Endurance, the closing track on their debut. Recorded at Parlour Studios and Metropolis Studios, 100% Endurance was produced and mixed by Ali Chant.
Yard Act’s James Smith said: “Within our camp we have a saying: ‘Mad shit happens when you do art’ - it means what it means. You make stuff because you want to make it, and you throw stuff you've made into the world because you'd rather share it than not and then you leave it alone and let it do its thing. That thing you did can take you to places you didn't intend to go with it, but it's out of your control really. You have no control over the mad shit. It just happens (when you do art).
“Elton John saw our stuff and he started telling the press he thought we were good and then we chatted on the phone and after a few calls I said ‘Elton, do you want to come to the studio and play piano on a tune?’ because, fuck it, it doesn't matter if he says no. Anyway, he said ‘yes’, so it doesn't matter that he didn't say no. I don't know what else to say. He's brilliant. Switched on, hilarious and an amazing musician.”
Elton John added: “From the first moment I heard Yard Act, I fell in love with James' lyrics, and the way he's delivered the song. Their sound is such a breath of fresh air. When James called and asked if I would come into the studio I instantly loved the idea. I started out as a session musician in the late '60s and I absolutely loved it then. It was such a thrill to be thrown in with musicians I'd never met before, it pushed me out of my comfort zone and I became a better musician.
“During lockdown I had the time on my hands to really start doing that in a concerted way again, and I fell in love with the challenge and the process all over again. They're a very special band, with a massive future ahead of them and I'm honoured they've let me be a part of their journey.”
Yard Act recently announced their biggest headline show to date at London’s O2 Kentish Town Forum on December 1, following an entirely sold-out tour in February and March this year, and recent shows supporting Jack White.
The band were recently awarded the Grulke Prize for Developing non-US Act at SXSW this year. They also made their US TV debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
PHOTO: Rachael Paley