Yard Act's Sam Shipstone and James Smith trace the origins of their unconventional post-punk sound

Yard Act
Sam Shipstone [left] with his G&L Tribute and vocalist James Smith perform at SXSW 2022 (Image credit: Travis P Ball/Getty Images for SXSW)

Chances are, by the time you read this, you will have heard a lot about Yard Act. The Leeds-based post-punk quartet’s debut The Overload is one of those rare albums that feels universally anticipated across the pop-cultural firmament, showcasing a sound with the energy and clarity of purpose to meet our present moment, to help us make sense of it.

Vocalist James Smith delivers his observational verse with an antic verve, telling everyday stories of everyday people, their foibles and prejudices. Smith’s vocals are delivered in an undiluted Yorkshire brogue. 

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Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to publications including Guitar World, MusicRadar and Total Guitar. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.