Listen Up: “Bad Blood” by Bastille
Matt Buckley ’15 / Emertainment Monthly Staff
Bastille has been rocking radio stations ever since their fourth single Pompeii was released on February 22. The song has been played around the world, topping charts from Ireland to Australia, from Belgium to Sweden, and everywhere in between. Their debut album “Bad Blood” was recently released to US audiences on September 3 and it definitely doesn’t disappoint.
The young quartet hails from London, following in the footsteps of many other pop rock bands that specialize in piano heavy, stadium-shaking ballads. Drawing similarities to the dramatic hugeness of Coldplay and the apocalyptic sound of Muse while adding creative leader Dan Smith’s personal touches to round out each track make for a beautiful set-list. The sheer complexity that comes from layering Smith’s vocals, several instruments and a background chorus, is somehow straightened out giving each song a pleasing, almost violin-like smoothness to it.
But what really makes the album worth multiple listens is its ability to build a relationship with the listener. Not only because many of the songs quickly become easy to sing along with, but also because Smith’s lyrics directly address the listener with second person writing. On the band’s third single Flaws, Smith sings “When all of your flaws and all of my flaws / Are laid out one by one / A wonderful part of the mess that we made / We pick ourselves undone.” His use of the words “you” and “we” give a connection from singer to listener, building upon the notion that there is already some deeper meaning to the songs.
On the band’s first single, Overjoyed, Smith’s opening and parting words to the listener are “Oh I feel overjoyed / When you listen to my words.” With these lyrics Smith rather blatantly states that he is overjoyed that the listener is listening. At some level, everyone should get some kind of satisfaction from this. Smith creates such a strong relationship with the listener throughout the album that each song builds up a significance to the listener, and soon enough the listener is hooked, singing along with lyrics that could have almost been written for them, and who’s to say they aren’t?