Flirting with euphoric synth-pop and gospel, Bloc Party’s fifth album reflects a change not only in the British alt-rock band’s lineup (new bassist, new drummer), but also in their attitude. “I knew from the beginning I wanted to call it Hymns,” says queer frontman Kele Okereke of the record’s holy optimism. “Throughout my work, there have been recurring nods to faith. I’m not religious, but I did grow up in a religious household. I recognize that as a human being I have a spiritual dimension.” Here, Okereke details Hymns’ saintlier influences.
“For this record, I went to my parents’ house, got my old hymn book, and immersed myself in devotional music. On our song ‘Only He Can Heal Me,’ I wanted to reflect this Hebrew hymn’s choral round, which keeps going and going, and has a terrific ambience.”