Bloc Party's Kele Okereke performing on stage. (Credit: livepict)
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11 Best Bloc Party Songs

Deciding on the Best Bloc Party songs is a difficult task. Since their debut album ‘Silent Alarm” Kele Okereke and the band have built up a diverse back catalogue of amazing tracks. The band may get dismissed by some as having peaked with their debut, but I dare you to try and follow up an album as good as ‘Silent Alarm’. It isn’t an easy task.

Anyway, we are going to go through their discography and highlight 11 Bloc Party tracks I think are essential to listen to. As I always say this is subjective.

The Best Bloc Party Songs

11. "The Once And Future King" - Flux (B-side) - 2007

“The Once And Future King” is an obscure inclusion, but this song is fantastic. Appearing as the B-side to the monumental single “Flux”, due to its position in the band’s timeline, the song feels like a track that bridges the gap between ‘Silent Alarm’ and ‘A Weekend In The City’.

The high-octane drum rhythms from Matt Tong, mix brilliantly with the energetic vocals and lead guitar lines from Kele and Russell Lissack. The bass is booming too elevating this song to a new level of hyper indie-rock.

The lyrics tell an introspective tale of the band’s rise to the limelight and dealing with the fact that within a year, they were seen as the next big thing and suddenly weren’t. 

10. "Hunting For Witches" - A Weekend in the City - 2007

“Hunting For Witches” was the third single released from Bloc Party’s sophomore album. Blending electronic elements while keeping the band’s signature sound, it is clear that it belongs on the list of Bloc Party’s best songs. 

The track opens with a mixed-up combination of vocal samples, going along with the drums, and then you are introduced to the main riff. Once again the song is energetic while also being whistful thanks to the softer vocals of Kele Okereke.

The vocal hook does exactly what it should, drawing you in and resonating with the listener. The song is a critique of mainstream media, and their draw to use fear as a controlling factor. Kele cites the media’s reaction to the September 11 attacks and the July 2005 attacks in London as the inspiration.

9. "In Situ" - Alpha Games - 2022

Bloc Party are still going strong, and the song “In Situ” is a reprise of form for the band. Featured in their 2022 release ‘Alpha Games’, “In Situ” sees the band embrace their garage rock sound from their earlier years.

The brilliance of this album, and this song, is the fact that the band are back to playing to Kele’s strengths and they embrace Louise Bartle’s drumming and vocals. This fact allows the band to get back to writing catchy, gripping riffs, and encapsulating vocal hooks.

The electronic elements the band is now synonymous with are still there, but the distorted guitars definitely take centre stage. The lead lines outline some beautiful arpeggiation, and all aspects of the song are then woven together around them bringing the track together.

8. "Blue Light" - Silent Alarm - 2005

If Paramore’s Hayley Williams can cry along to this song (watch that here) then anyone can. “Blue Light” shows Bloc Party paying attention to their dynamics. The lyrics show Kele at his most emotive, apart from another song we will get to at no.1.

This Bloc Party song starts out quiet with chords ringing for a single bar, with the main driving force being the drums. Like a gradual crescendo, the song adds elements throughout, building and building before mildly erupting. The track then comes back to the intro’s level fading to nothing. From this aspect alone the track ascends from the rest.

The lyrics tackle the topic of intimacy and stating that what will be will be. The line “If that’s the way it is then that’s the way it is” shows acceptance of the loss while the verses contradict this with the constant feeling and turmoil of loss.

7. "Like Eating Glass" - Silent Alarm - 2005

The song that introduces one of the strongest debut albums of all time (again in my opinion), “Like Eating Glass” sets you up for the entirety of ‘Silent Alarm”. Straight away Bloc Party hit you with a track that is energetic, frantic, and urgent. It’s because of this it remains a popular track amongst Bloc Party fans. 

The guitar playing is angular with lead lines jumping between notes, although it still remains melodic. Consistently paced, the guitar playing pushes the track forward.  Once again the drum beat perfectly accentuates the track with high-impact punk rhythms.

Keeping in theme with early Bloc Party, the lyrics of “Like Eating Glass” are poetic and are open to interpretation. However, they can be interpreted to tell the story of people struggling with the economy or someone being confused with the world.

6. "Ratchet" - Four (Deluxe Edition) - 2013

Are any FIFA 14 players reading? Well, “Ratchet” will be the Bloc Party song you are looking for. Not originally released on the album ‘Four’, the track was later added to the deluxe edition and aren’t we glad they did. 

The way to describe this song is dance-punk. Energetic and brandishing dance rhythms from both the instrumentation and vocal lines, this song is guaranteed to get you on your feet. Although successful criticism came at the time as this was seen as the band removing themselves from their previous sound.

This track would also be the final track with the band’s original line-up. After “Ratchet”, the band would go on hiatus, with drummer Matt Tong and bassist Gordon Moakes leaving.

5. "Octopus" - Four - 2012

“Octopus” was Bloc Party returning to their guitar-driven tone, although it still holds a lot of the musicality from their electronic-influenced music. The opening guitar hook is created with a very quick tremolo playing a root note before moving to the chord. 

Bringing back some call-and-response textures, the track has an abundance of moments all with the potential to get stuck in your head. The guitar line is easily singable, while the chorus vocal line is memorable, encouraging you to sing along.

One thing about this track is that all members of the band are given an equal footing within the mix. All parts have their moment to shine, while Kele’s vocals sit just at the top of the mix as opposed to cutting clearly through. 

4."Flux" - A Weekend in the City - 2007

“Flux” was a major departure from Bloc Party’s iconic garage rock tone, but it didn’t half hit. Outlying as a Bloc Party song, this track features almost exclusively electronic instruments abandoning the analogue instruments of “Silent Alarm”. 

This however results in a synth-rock banger. “Flux” is that perfect blend of indie sensibility while also allowing the band to instil some dance-heavy rhythms. This track really was the band experimenting with what they could achieve. 

A testament to Kele’s vocals and the band’s songwriting the song still manages to transmit that same sense of intimacy and feeling their other songs do. The track would end up being certified silver in the UK and would peak at position 8 in the charts. 

3. "Helicopter" - Silent Alarm - 2005

The definition of high-octane indie-rock, “Helicopter” was a defining track within the UK’s indie revolution. Possibly the most recognisable Bloc Party song (alongside the following), this song is one the band has a lot of their success to owe to it.

A riff that hits home like a truck, once you hear it you are buckled in for the ride. Then you add in fast-paced drumming, a driven bass line, melodic lead lines, and punk-centric vocals from Kele, you have a recipe for success. 

With this track, you have a song that is energetic, full of rebellion, and exciting at every moment. The meaning of the song, in classic fashion for the band, is again ambiguous, although it is implied that it is a comment on George W. Bush.

One interesting thing to note is you can hear the punk influence on the song from The Jam’s track “Set the House Ablaze” as the lead line follows the same start.

2. "Banquet" - Silent Alarm - 2005

“Banquet” is the the other recognisable Bloc Party song I was on about, I mean of course it is! Their most streamed track on Spotify and gold-certified in the UK, this song was definitely a commercial success, and it is clear to see why. 

This track showcases the band’s ability to engage the listener from the offset. Starting strong with a punchy drum beat that is then met by a call-and-response guitar pattern, you are already set up for an intriguing time. Then when you add Okereke’s mesmerising pop vocals, you are left with a track that checks all the tick boxes for a good Bloc Party song. 

Infectious is the best way to describe this song. Okereke has cited inspirations behind the song to be the Pixies and Adam and the Ants, and the track tackles the confusion and challenges of adolescence. This is essentially stated in the song.

1. "This Modern Love" - Silent Alarm - 2005

This is the quintessential Bloc Party song. “This Modern Love” is the band at their most sensitive, and it still plays into their strengths. The song showcases the band’s ability to craft delicate but intricate guitar parts, utilise driving drum beats, and blend them with soft yet emotionally charged vocal melodies.

This song is warming and comforting, yet tackles the issue of distance, and conveying both these ideas at the same time is a testament to Kele’s lyricism. Lines like “Do you want to come over and kill some time?” are filled with emotion, coming together to display a search for something deeper.

While not a single from ‘Silent Alarm’, the track is widely considered the band’s best. If you are having a down day I recommend playing this track and I can guarantee you will feel understood after, that is the power of this song. 

Just Missing the list

I had to make some tough decisions with this one so here are some I would have included if the list was a little longer:

Ion Square


The Prayer 

Keep it Rolling (Feat. Kenny Hoopla)


So Here We Are


In Conclusion

I have a soft spot for Bloc Party, and think the band often gets overlooked, especially when it comes to their later albums. While they definitely struck a chord with listeners during the mid-2000s, their output since still comes with its own merits. 

I would recommend that any alt-rock fan gives the band a listen as their unique blend of pop sensibility and post-punk is something any songwriter or listener can find inspiration from. 

See where ‘Silent Alarm’ ranks on our best alternative albums of the 00s.

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