As I briefly alluded to in my post ‘A Lyrical Story’, I have a borderline creepy obsession with a band called Bastille, and decided to write a blog post about them for a number of reasons; first of all, I’m obsessed and need to introduce other people to them. Secondly, I think my friends are getting just a little sick of me playing them on repeat at breaktimes and of my constant stream of ‘did you know…..’s.
I first discovered them when their fourth, and most successful single, Pompeii stormed the charts and reached number two (also check out this awesome acoustic version). I then discovered and subsequently bought another of their singles, Things We Lost In The Fire, and listened to it a few times before allowing them to drop under my radar again. When their debut album Bad Blood came out I was lucky enough to come across it at my local library, enabling me to listen to all their released tracks several times for merely 50p-bargain! However, as is my habit with the few albums I buy, I tended to stick to a few select songs- namely ‘Pompeii’, ‘TWLITF’ and ‘Laura Palmer‘.
When they released their tour dates I noticed they were playing relatively near me, but unfortunately missed out on tickets. At this point, I still wasn’t mad about them but nonetheless asked for, and duly received, their extended version of their debut album, ‘All This Bad Blood’. After still not fully exploring all the album, I saw their performance with Rudimental at the Brits, and then later was doing some ironing at the end of the February half term (oh, the hard life of a teenager), when I was seized with the sudden compulsion to listen to every single one of their tracks-and there began my obsession.
I now know the lyrics to 85% of the album, have listened to most of the songs countless times and have youtubed ‘bastille interviews’ a frankly worrying number of times. Listening to an entire double CD album is a serious achievement for me, as I rarely buy physical albums, much less from a band that I subsequently love every song from.I’ve introduced several friends to the delight of this amazing band, one with unmitigated success, and have grown more addicted by the day-so much so that I’m using the lyrics to their song ‘Weight of Living Pt. 1‘ for my music composition. The friend that is now nearly as obsessed with them as me has said they’re in her top five favourite artists-result! I’ve also downloaded one of their free ‘Other People’s Heartache’ mixtapes for free-unfortunately, the other seems to have been taken down for legal reasons. As you can see, I just can’t get enough of them!
‘But why are they so good?’ I hear you asking plaintively, having read a very long and rambling post that can be simply paraphrased to ‘I love them and have an extremely worrying obsession with them’. To me, their lyrics are what truly stand out. Yes, the catchy hooks and awesome musical talent help, but the lyrics are what really make the tracks what they are. After spending months listening to arguably very catchy but completely meaningless Top 40 hits from the likes of Katy Perry, One Direction and Pitbull (don’t get me wrong, I love a lot of whats currently in the UK Top 40, and it has a strong presence on my iPod), I loved Dan Smith’s meaningful lyrics, especially when they weren’t all constantly about love and broken hearts, as so many songs are.
For example, hit single Pompeii has been described by the band as a ‘feelgood conversation between two corpses’ (don’t knock it till you’ve heard it), and presents a fairly accurate picture of Vesuvius erupting. ‘Icarus‘ rewrites the ancient legend of Icarus and Daedalus, (I got very excited listening to that, as we studied it half to death last year at school) and the ‘Weight of Living Pt.I’ has strong references to the notion of an ‘albatross around your neck’ (yes, the lyrics and title are depressing. No, the song isn’t. As the band put it, they found themselves with a really depressing set of lyrics, so framed it in a catchy pop song to cheer it up a bit. Oh dear, I can quote them-I told you I was obsessed!). ‘Poet‘ includes the beautiful lyrics ‘and you will live forever/in eyes not yet created/on tongues that are not born/I have written you down/now you will live forever’.
I feel that Bastille and their music go against all the people who say that all modern music is awful-yes, a lot of it may be catchy beats and nonsensical lyrics, but there are some truly brilliant gems of bands in there, if only you look hard enough to find them.
Thanks for reading my ramblings…I’m sure my friends will be grateful I’ve vented my crazy obsession to the internet rather than them!
An Overthinking Teenager
+ Bastille’s album, Bad Blood, and the extended edition, All This Bad Blood, are both out now- I highly recommend you check them out.
+Other bands and artists I would really recommend to check out are To Kill A King (especially Choices, featuring, you guessed it,Bastille!), Jack Johnson, and Lauren Aquilina.
+What are your current obsessions? Share in the comments below!
N.B. Title is from ‘Poet’ by Bastille
Background Image Credit:By Tom Bayly from England via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons