UK band Yard Act released their debut album The Overload today. It's a terrific record that puts a fresh spin on shouty, poppy post-punk, and, more than anything, it recalls the mid-'00s heyday of Franz Ferdinand, Art Brut, and Arctic Monkeys. You can read our Indie Basement Album of the Week review here and listen to the album below.

We asked Yard Act about the inspirations behind The Overload and all four members -- singer James Smith, bassist Ryan Needham, guitarist Sam Shjipstone and drummer Jay Russell -- plus producer Ali Chant each gave two picks, which include music, books, TV shows, and more. Check out the list, complete with commentary, below.

Yard Act will be touring around SXSW in March and Coachella in April, including NYC shows at Brooklyn's Union Pool on 3/22 (sold out) and TV Eye on 3/24 (tickets). All dates are listed below.

The Rapture
I read ‘Meet Me In The Bathroom’ a couple of months before me and James discussed doing a new music thing together and it made me delve fully back into that 2000’s era. The Rapture really stuck out, and though I did quite like their heyday hits, coming back to them now within the whole context of their NYC story, formation and the tensions in the DFA label camp and the David Holmes, James Murphy stuff etc got me totally emotionally invested in their records in a different way. Then from there I went full fine-tooth-comb-historian mode on loads of their influences; the most obvious being Bush Tetras, ESG, Liquid Liquid, Delta 5, PIL, Happy Mondays etc. All that stuff was definitely a rich mine for me when it became apparent that I’d be playing bass in Yard Act. (Ryan Needham)

Baths
I know baths are environmentally horrendous; never been a bath person before, and I’ve pretty much stopped having them again now, however, for those three months in early 2020 when the world ground to a halt I reckon I was fully submerged for about 1/3 of each day. James actually instigated the phase with his (brilliant btw) hangover tip of ‘ice cold beer, red hot bath’ but I totally ran with it after that and just had full weeks of laptop-on-the-bog-seat consuming all those tv shows and all those podcasts that everyone else did. Maybe it was a cocoon/safety/matrix thing. (Ryan Needham)

Purple Mountains - Purple Mountains
I was so excited when David Berman returned to music with 'All My Happiness Is Gone' and his new Purple Mountains moniker. The first time I heard that song I laughed, but on repeat listens it hit home how bleak Berman was really feeling. The album reinforces that. The wit and the humour - and i genuinely think this is Berman's wittiest and most humorous album - alongside the gorgeous pop arrangements and production courtesy of the WOODS band really lure you into a false sense of security with this record. I think this is David's greatest work. I was heartbroken when he died. I always thought he was a brilliant lyricist, but reading back through interviews he seemed like a genuinely decent human, who cared immensely about trying to do the right thing too. (James Smith)

First Dates - Channel 4
Obviously a lot of our record was written during the lockdowns so I spent a lot of time not leaving the house, which meant I didn't see many people, which meant I couldn't observe many people. Considering our songs spend a lot of time observing people, I had to look elsewhere for inspiration for the album. I delved deep into my childhood for some songs, but for others I took quite a lot from First Dates. There are 17 series of First Dates and it has everything. I know it's edited to look a certain way, I know the moving strings conveniently come in at just the right moment every time, but without any of that it still proves time and time again that humans all want the same thing. No matter who they are, where they're from or what they believe. Humans are all seeking comfort in somebody else's company. We want companionship, we want to love and we want to be loved back. Even the dickheads want that. (James Smith)

Françoise Hardy - Tous les garçons et les filles
I don’t even know who the guitar players are on this record, but I really love the approach. Understated but forward, with rich chord voicings. And around that time I’d started to notice the harmonic minor scale which I now use a lot, and which ‘Le temps de l’amour’ puts to spooky effect. (Sam Shjipstone)

MSG
The great misunderstood food. It’s not bad for you. It’s not (table) salt. It doesn’t make you thirsty. It sometimes occurs naturally. It’s also got quite a beautiful origin story, until we ruined it with a moral panic. We owe it to MSG: shake on (Sam Shjipstone)

The Streets - Original Pirate Material
Even though the subject matter is a bit different, my first musical reference was Original Pirate Material by The Streets. A bit like Mike Skinner, James’s skill at capturing characters in his writing is a rare thing and it immediately drew me to Yard Act from the first moment I heard "Fixer Upper." I had been feeling such frustration that musicians weren’t writing about the massive social and political schisms that have shaken Britain over the last four years. But to hear someone facing these things head on, with a sense of humour and humility, felt like someone was finally speaking for me. (Ali Chant, producer)

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
James and I lent each other a number of books during the album sessions. I had been reading this famous psychology book during mixing that just blew my mind, and I had to get James a copy. The book covers a great many aspects of the human mind, but the chapters about cognitive bias and how people frequently make choices against their own and the common good seemed strangely appropriate to the record.  (Ali Chant, producer)

The Stranglers - Rattus Norvegicus
I grew up listening to the Stranglers thanks to my folks. As I got older and I learnt more about them, I began to admire how they stuck out like a sarcastic sore thumb when compared to their punk contemporaries. For one, they were talented players and refined songwriters, which was incredibly unfashionable at the time. The lyrics on this album are sleazy, and somewhat questionable, but there’s a playful element too, if not a little dark. I take this record as being written with tongue in cheek. They were not afraid to deliver something different to what people were expecting. It’s also got to be one of the best bass sounds of all time. (Jay Russell)

My espresso machine
I recently acquired an espresso machine and it’s quickly become a small obsession of mine. The more I read the more little toys and gadgets I decide I ‘need’ in order to make the perfect morning coffee. I love all the variables and precision involved in the process. It’s a nice routine to start the day with. (Jay Russell)

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YARD ACT - 2022 TOUR DATES
22 JAN 22 - SISTER RAY / 100 CLUB OUTSTORE - LONDON
23 JAN 22 - PIE AND VINYL INSTORE - PORTSMOUTH
23 JAN 22 - RESIDENT INSTORE - BRIGHTON
24 JAN 22 - ROUGH TRADE BRISTOL - BRISTOL
24 JAN 22 - TRUCK INSTORE - OXFORD
27 JAN 22 - ROUGH TRADE NOTTINGHAM - NOTTINGHAM
01 FEB 22 - BELGRAVE MUSIC HALL - LEEDS
02 FEB 22 - L'AÉRONEF - LILLE
03 FEB 22 - MUZIEKCENTRUM TRIX - ANTWERPEN
04 FEB 22 - PARADISO - AMSTERDAM
05 FEB 22 - MOLOTOW - HAMBURG
06 FEB 22 - STENGADE - KØBENHAVN
07 FEB 22 - PLAN B - MALMÖ
09 FEB 22 - BADEHAUS BERLIN - BERLIN
10 FEB 22 - BLUE SHELL - COLOGNE
11 FEB 22 - ROTONDES - LUXEMBOURG
12 FEB 22 - LA BOULE NOIRE - PARIS
17 FEB 22 - VILLAGE UNDERGROUND - LONDON
18 FEB 22 - PATTERNS - BRIGHTON
19 FEB 22 - THE JOINERS - SOUTHAMPTON
21 FEB 22 - EXCHANGE - BRISTOL
22 FEB 22 - CLWB IFOR BACH - CARDIFF
23 FEB 22 - BODEGA - NOTTINGHAM
24 FEB 22 - THE WHITE HOTEL - SALFORDS
25 FEB 22 - TRADES CLUB - HEBDEN BRIDGE
26 FEB 22 - BRUDENELL SOCIAL CLUB - LEEDS
01 MAR 22 - THE CLUNY - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE
02 MAR 22 - THE CAVES - EDINBURGH
03 MAR 22 - MONO - GLASGOW
04 MAR 22 - WHELAN'S - DUBLIN
22 MAR 22 - UNION POOL - NEW YORK
23 MAR 22 - JOHNNY BRENDA'S - PHILADELPHIA
24 MAR 22 - TV EYE - QUEENS COUNTY
25 MAR 22 - THE SINCLAIR - CAMBRIDGE
27 MAR 22 - THE GARRISON - TORONTO
29 MAR 22 - SLEEPING VILLAGE - CHICAGO
05 APR 22 - EARTH (EVOLUTIONARY ARTS HACKNEY) - LONDON
15 APR 22 - CASBAH - SAN DIEGO
16 APR 22 - COACHELLA VALLEY MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL 2022 - INDIO
18 APR 22 - THE CROCODILE SECOND STAGE - SEATTLE
19 APR 22 - DOUG FIR LOUNGE - PORTLAND
21 APR 22 - RICKSHAW STOP - SAN FRANCISCO
30 APR 22 - LIVERPOOL CITY CENTRE - LIVERPOOL
11 MAY 22 - TRINITY CENTRE - BRISTOL
18 MAY 22 - RESCUE ROOMS - NOTTINGHAM
19 MAY 22 - THE ZANZIBAR CLUB - LIVERPOOL
20 MAY 22 - THE IRISH CENTRE - LEEDS
21 MAY 22 - BAND ON THE WALL - MANCHESTER
22 MAY 22 - THE FOUNDRY SHEFFIELD - SHEFFIELD
26 MAY 22 - O2 ACADEMY 2 - LEICESTER
27 MAY 22 - NORWICH ARTS CENTRE - NORWICH
28 MAY 22 - BROCKWELL PARK - LONDON
28 MAY 22 - BROCKWELL PARK - LONDON
22 JUL 22 - TRUCK FESTIVAL 2022 - STEVENTON
05 Aug 22 - OFF FESTIVAL - KATOWICE
07 AUG 22 - OFF FESTIVAL 2022 - KATOWICE
09 Aug 22 - ØYAFESTIVALEN - OSLO
10 AUG 22 - ØYAFESTIVALEN 2022 - OSLO
13 AUG 22 - OYA FESTIVAL - OSLO
22 NOV 22 - SAINT LUKE'S - GLASGOW
23 NOV 22 - NEWCASTLE UNIVERSITY STUDENTS' UNION - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE
24 NOV 22 - O2 ACADEMY LEEDS - LEEDS
25 NOV 22 - O2 RITZ - MANCHESTER
26 NOV 22 - MARBLE FACTORY - BRISTOL
27 NOV 22 - TRAMSHED CARDIFF - CARDIFF
29 NOV 22 - 1865 - SOUTHAMPTON
30 NOV 22 - CHALK - BRIGHTON - BUY

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