Bastille iTunes Tracks Bastille Official Website


Originally intended as a solo career for singer-songwriter/keyboardist, Dan Smith, London’s indie synth-pop quartet BASTILLE were the surprise package of 2013, having rocketed to pole position with their inaugural album, “Bad Blood”. Augmented by friends Kyle Simmons (keyboards/acoustic guitar), Will Farquarson (bass) and Chris “Woody” Wood (drums), the name of BASTILLE came about in 2010 through frontman’s Dan’s common ground sharing of his birthday (14th July) and the storming of the French prison/fortress in revolutionary France in 1789.
Historical facts aside, the English lads got underway when local indie imprint, Young & Lost Club, issued their debut 45, `Flaws’ (b/w `Icarus’), while a subsequent CD-r (led by the Twin Peaks-inspired `Laura Palmer’ track) was promptly delivered later in 2011. A rush for their signatures was over when Virgin Records won the day, the major probably unperturbed when both `Overjoyed’ and follow-up, `Bad Blood’, failed to generate anything more than critical appraisal and radio airplay.
Buoyed by a support slot to British soul singer, EMELI SANDE (on the back of Glastonbury and Isle of Wight Festival spots), BASTILLE were quickly finding their feet and, in October 2012, a re-vamped version of `Flaws’ just missed out on a Top 20 place. Previewed by the chart-topping BAD BLOOD (2013) {*7}, the attendant Top 3 smash `Pompeii’ download was one of several anthemic sing-a-longs that graced the grooves; if A-HA and/or the electro-pop 80s are one’s bag, `Things We Lost In The Fire’, `Daniel In The Den’, and the other half-dozen single ditties, will have one storming the shops for copies. While America would be a different proposition, somehow surprise hit `Pompeii’ managed to pave the way for huge sales.
Chalking up back-to-back album chart-toppers – and a Top 5 entry in the States – with WILD WORLD (2016) {*7}, it was a picnic in the park for capital crooner Dan Smith and his storming the BASTILLE buddies. Seizing the day in their feisty festival fist-pumping chanthems, hidden among the record’s punchy pop production and corny chorus lines (“lesser of” `Two Evils’ almost cringeworthy), a proper dig at the Trump bloopers was in hand on `The Currents’; maybe a cover of Mark E. Smith’s `Hillary’ will save the world, lads? Opening earworm salvo and major hitter, `Good Grief’, was commercial indie-pop at its most glorious, and one can’t help falling hook line and sinker for retro-80s toons `Warmth’, `Glory’ and `Send Them Off!’ – complete with TV dialogue. Forget IMAGINE DRAGONS for an hour or so and bask in the sunshine of BASTILLE’s political pop decadence; but don’t mention Versailles.
The relatively lucrative movie soundtrack avenue was tempting enough for the band to lay down a cover of GREEN DAY’s `Basket Case’ (for TV’s The Tick) and the exclusive `World Gone Mad’ (for WILL SMITH’s Bright). Whilst their own highly-polished singles – including the latter platter – had only minor chart stopovers, feature collaborations alongside CRAIG DAVID and MARSHMELLO, on downloads `I Know You’ and `Happier’, had reaped their own rewards when they entered the Top 5, respectively, in November 2017 and August 2018.
Subsequently storming the gates of the charts once again, the ominous BASTILLE’s third set, the concept DOOM DAYS (2019) {*7}, captured the mood of the moment: though its stark escapism into the airwaves was a million miles west from the nation-dividing Brexit chaos. The record opened with the nostalgic, `Quarter Past Midnight’; the heartfelt and heady anthems were now underway. Soft and pliable, the title track and the gospel-addled `Joy’ spun their magic eloquently enough; the group’s intimate introspections ready-made for a soggy festival sing-along.
© MC Strong/MCS Mar2013-Jun2019

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