Bloc Party + The Drums + Them Jeans

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Photograph: Marley Kate
Bloc Party

Anyone who’s followed Kele Okereke’s career over the past few years might’ve assumed the singer had little interest in reuniting with Bloc Party, the London postpunk band he led to international acclaim before it went on hiatus in 2009. The following year, Okereke released a solo debut, The Boxer, full of sleek dance tunes; he also collaborated with the Dutch DJ Tiësto and Madonna’s MDNA collaborator Martin Solveig. (Rumors that Okereke’s bandmates had fired him circulated, too, after the singer told England’s NME he’d seen them entering a New York rehearsal studio without him.)

But in June, Bloc Party returned to the stage in Glasgow to kick off its first tour in three years, and this week it hits New York for a string of sold-out shows sandwiched between high-profile appearances at Lollapalooza in Chicago and Outside Lands in San Francisco. What’s more, the band has made a new studio album, Four (due August 21), on which Okereke sounds right at home layering his anxious yelp over guitar-heavy tracks helmed by At the Drive-In producer Alex Newport. “Octopus,” the disc’s choppy lead single, shares more with 2005’s Silent Alarm than it does with 2008’s Intimacy. Perhaps old alliances—and old approaches—die hard.—Mikael Wood

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