Bastille are a British, indie-pop band that formed in 2010. The band started out as a solo project by lead vocalist, Dan Smith, but eventually morphed into the band it is today. So far, the band have released 3 incredible studio albums (plus a bunch of massive cover projects too!). Now, 2022 sees the release of their fourth full-length album, Give Me The Future. Here’s what we have to say about it…
From the outset, it’s clear that this is a different sound from the band’s previous works, with opening track and lead single, ‘Distorted Light Beam’; an electronic song with cool vocoder use in the latter half, that builds wonderfully throughout.
From there, the listener is taken on an epic journey through a much more electronic soundscape than some of their previous releases but with a much darker lyrical twist. The beats are heavy and laden with many synthesiser elements and the focus is very much on a future that’s full of uncertainty and at times, almost apocalyptic.
That said, it’s counteracted by the upbeat rhythms and dance-inspired music throughout. From the catchy single, ‘Thelma + Louise’ which oozes typical Bastille goodness to the more morbid look at the future of ‘Plug In…’ that looks at the future fate of the world and singer Dan Smith, begging to know everything will be alright; this is an album that deserves to be listened to in its entirety.
This is an album that deserves to be listened to in its entirety.
Executive produced by OneRepublic‘s, Ryan Tedder, it’s easy to see how this album is so catchy and intricate, however there are some parts where I feel it is lacking slightly. The interludes, whilst cinematic in their sound, feel somewhat unnecessary (although can imagine would be amazing to break up a live set!). Don’t get me wrong, they’re definitely worth a listen, particularly ‘Promises’ which is a spoken word poem by actor and rapper Riz Ahmed, who speaks of a less apocalyptic future but instead of one that adores a world filled with love and intimacy. However, in my opinion, whilst they add a nice break in pace of the album, I could take or leave them when relistening to it. Additionally, without these, there are only 10 tracks to the record, so my biggest wish is that there was more to it…but I guess it’s a good thing to leave the listener wanting more?!
Some of the best songs on the album, include: ‘Back To The Future’ (my personal favourite) – an epic disco-esque song with funky guitar and bass lines and movie references throughout; ‘Shut Off The Lights’ with its rhythmic vocal melodies and brilliant gang vocals, making it really stand out and album closer, ‘Future Holds‘ (featuring BIM). The close to the album is fitting both in terms of lyrical content but also its incredible use of gospel backing harmonies and broken-up beat, making it a great end to a great record.
The dystopian themes and darker lyrical content are really prevolent on tracks like ‘No Bad Days’ which features echoing vocals across its many different parts (including a wonderful piano interlude and autotune vocals at the end), ‘Stay Awake?‘ that contains the rather captivating line “stop the world, I want to get off” and the Phil Collins-like beat of the apocalyptic sounding, ‘Give Me The Future’. They are all tracks that weave their way into your subconscious and leave the listener with a lot of food for thought.
In contrast to all the future imagery though, is the rather quirky track, ‘Club 57’ that recalls back at the 70s/80s New York nightclub scene, underpinned by whistling melodies and a seriously electronically distorted soundscape, where even the acoustic guitar is distorted.
Overall, this is a very cinematic-sounding album yet incredibly electronic and there’s so much to love about it. Whilst there’s some darkness to the lyrics, in places, there is a still a degree of optimism too and a massive dose of fun to be had whilst listening to it. The production and arrangements are beautifully crafted and the album truly showcases the band’s ability to grow and evolve, in order to remain current, while still maintaining that distinctive Bastille sound. I can’t wait to see what direction the band take next!
‘Give Me The Future’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/give-me-the-future/1580064966
Give Me The Future on Spotify
Shut Off The Lights (Official Video)
No Bad Days (Official Video)
Distorted Light Beam (Official Lyric Video)
We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of the band’s fourth album? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it out of 5? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or via our social media.
Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other reviews here:
Matt – Muzik Speaks