Yard Act “When The Laughter Stops”

Yard Act debut new single "When The Laughter Stops" ft: Katy J Pearson. The track is off the UK band's forthcoming album Where's My Utopia?
Yard Act photo by Phoebe Fox

Yard Act have today shared ‘When The Laughter Stops’ ft. Katy J Pearson, the track is off their forthcoming album Where My Utopia?, available March 1st 2024 via Island Island Records. The album is the follow up to the Leeds band’s breakout debut record The Overload. The new album is a co-production between Yard Act and Gorillaz member Remi Kabaka Jr. ‘When The Laughter Stops’ follows the album’s singles ‘Dream Job’, ‘Petroleum’ and ‘We Make Hits’, with videos for the tracks directed by longtime collaborator James Slater.

The band have also announced a huge run of shows in the UK and EU for spring 2024 – including the Eventim Apollo Hammersmith on 27 March – and their biggest hometown show to date at the 5,750 capacity Millennium Square Leeds on 3 August.

One of the first tracks written for the record, Yard Act’s James Smith says of ‘When The Laughter Stops’: “The sentiment of the lyrics gets to the heart of Where’s My Utopia? almost immediately, and finds the cynicism first spawned from the same circumstance I found myself in during ‘Dream Job’ now giving way to a more genuine sliver of misery. Fortunately – spoiler alert – I’ve managed to find a way out of this pit, for the time being”

He continues: “Whilst the lyrics came quick, musically it went through the wringer. As is often the case when Ryan presents a bass line, harmonically it’s pretty ambiguous and we all hear things differently. I was hearing the song in a pretty bluesy, minor key, whilst Sam [guitarist] heard a very saccharine and sweet major key tune. The song pedalled back and forth, we talked about ‘Lovefool’ by The Cardigans quite a lot if I remember correctly. During a recording session in Kettering with Russ Russell at Parlour Studios in December 2022, I was fucking about on a Roland Juno with the arpeggiator whirring away over the end. Ryan flipped the rate so it went half time and all of a sudden the eeriness of the track made sense; it sounded like some John Carpenter doomsday clock countdown or something. Sam reworked the guitars to sound like ‘High Voltage; by Electric Six and we stripped away the funkier percussion and made the rhythm more aggressive, like ‘Seven Nation Army’. Katy came to meet us at Metropolis in London to dub the chorus vocals and it gave the whole track a huge lift I’ll never have the voice for. She’s fantastic. I asked David Thewlis to recite Macbeth over the end for obvious reasons. The results speak for themselves!”

Speaking about the video, Slater said: “This video continues the journey of The Visitor and follows on from ‘Petroleum’, in which we saw her get dragged off by a couple of hitmen. ‘When The Laughter Stops’ reveals her fate… a prison full of old circus performers. Security is admittedly a little loose so all may not be lost. The videos we’ve made have all been part of a wider Yard Act cinematic universe and we’re in the process of turning the whole thing into a movie.

Yard Act
Where’s My Utopia

1. An Illusion
2. We Make Hits
3. Down By The Stream
4. The Undertow
5. Dream Job
6. Fizzy Fish
7. Petroleum
8. When The Laughter Stops (ft. Katy J Pearson)
9. Grifter’s Grief
10. Blackpool Illuminations
11. A Vineyard for the North

Yard Act 2024 Tour Dates

29 Feb | Pryzm, Kingston, UK Early Show
29 Feb | Pryzm, Kingston, UK SOLD OUT
01 Mar | Rough Trade, Bristol. UK early show SOLD OUT
01 Mar | Rough Trade, Bristol. UK evening show SOLD OUT
03 Mar | Rough Trade East, London, UK early show SOLD OUT
03 Mar | Rough Trade East, London, UK evening show SOLD OUT
05 Mar | Rough Trade, Nottingham, UK early show
05 Mar | Rough Trade, Nottingham, UK evening show SOLD OUT
06 Mar | HMV Vault, Birmingham, UK
07 Mar | Jacaranda Baltic, Liverpool, UK
13 Mar | The Nick Rayns LCR (UEA), Norwich, UK
14 Mar | Rock City, Nottingham , UK
15 Mar | O2 Academy, Glasgow, UK
16 Mar | O2 Apollo, Manchester, UK
17 Mar | Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK
19 Mar | Mandela Hall, Belfast, UK
20 Mar | Vicar Street, Dublin, IE
22 Mar | Invisible Wind Factory, Liverpool, UK SOLD OUT
23 Mar | O2 Academy, Bristol, UK SOLD OUT
24 Mar | The Great Hall, Cardiff, UK
25 Mar | The Dome, Brighton, UK
27 Mar | Eventim Apollo, London, UK
04 Apr | Stereolux, Nantes, FR
05 Apr | Cabaret Sauvage, Paris, FR
06 Apr | Rock School Barbey, Bordeaux, FR
08 Apr | LAV, Lisbon, PT
09 Apr | Mon, Madrid, ES
11 Apr | La 2, Barcelona, ES
12 Apr | Le Transbordeur, Lyon, FR
13 Apr | Locomotiv Club, Bologna, IT
14 Apr | Santeria Toscana 31, Milan, IT
16 Apr | Mascotte, Zurich, CH
17 Apr | Muffathalle, Munich, DE
18 Apr | Festsaal Kreuzberg, Berlin, DE
19 Apr | Loppen, Copenhagen, DK SOLD OUT
20 Apr | Slaktkyrkan, Stockholm, SE
24 Apr | Uebel & Gefährlich, Hamburg, DE
25 Apr | Paradiso Main Hall, Amsterdam, NL
26 Apr | Doornroosje, Nijmegen,NL
27 Apr | Kantine, Cologne, DE
28 Apr | Les Nuits Botanique, Brussels, BE
30 May | Belly Up Tavern, Solana Beach, CA
31 May | The Regent Theater, Los Angeles, CA
1 Jun | Pappy and Harriet’s, Pioneertown, CA
3 Jun | The Catalyst Atrium, Santa Cruz, CA
4 Jun | The Independent, San Francisco, CA
6 Jun | Mississippi Studios, Portland, OR
7 Jun | Rickshaw Theatre, Vancouver, BC
8 Jun | The Crocodile, Seattle, WA
27 Jul | Truck Festival, Oxfordshire, UK
28 Jul | Tramlines, Sheffield, UK
02 Aug | Y-Not Festival, Derbyshire, UK
03 Aug | Millenium Square, Leeds, UK
10 Aug | Oya Festival, Oslo, NO
12 Aug | Sziget Festival, Budapest, HU
23 Aug | Victorious Festival, Southsea, UK
31 Aug | Meo Kalorama, Lisbon, PT

pre-order Where’s My Utopia by Yard Act HERE


Looking for something new to listen to?

Sign up to our all-new newsletter for top-notch reviews, news, videos and playlists.