Kele Okereke has announced his new album Fatherland, due for release on October 6th via BMG Music. Fatherland is the most mature and musically adventurous chapter of Kele’s ever-evolving career, and includes duets with Olly Alexander (Years & Years) and Corinne Bailey Rae. His third solo long player alongside his role as frontman of Bloc Party, it is the first under his full name and a significant sonic departure from adrenalized electronics of his previous two solo records, The Boxer and Trick.
A new song from the album, “Streets Been Talking,” is available to stream and download now. “Streets Been Talking was one of the first tracks I wrote for the album,” says Kele. “It’s a bittersweet ode to romance and the passing of time.”
Fatherland presents a facet of Kele we haven’t heard before – the singer/songwriter. Embracing a much more organic – even classic – sonic palette, the album straddles delicate folk (“Streets Been Talking”), sumptuous soul (“Do U Right”), and insidious, dub reggae-meets-Weimar cabaret (“You Keep On Whispering”). It also features the breath taking “Yemaya,” released earlier this year, and was produced by Bloc Party bassist Justin Harris in Portland, Oregon with expert musicians largely drawn from Portland’s underground music scene.
“I was listening a lot to Elliott Smith’s Either/Or, Pink Moon by Nick Drake, Blue by Joni Mitchell, and the Al Green album, Still in Love With You,” says Kele. “Writing these songs and expressing these words and feelings, it’s something that’s vital for me. I’m recognizing I’m entering into a different part of my life.”
Kele’s lyrics are, as ever, perceptive and nakedly personal: a map of his consciousness as he squared up to the prospect of fatherhood – his daughter Savannah was born in December 2016.
“I’m fully conscious that this record is probably going to serve as a document for Savannah of the relationship between her fathers and who we were before she came into our lives,” says Kele. “It feels important for her to see that we don’t have all the answers but we’re trying.”