Leeds Student Television
Bastille ‘Give Me The Future’ Album Review
After a hellish reality the world has been living through, this album provides a necessary escape to a more hopeful and motivating time full of freedom and adventure.
Since the release of ‘Doom Days’ in summer 2019, it feels as though Bastille fans (or Stormers) have waited an eternity for original, pure Bastille tunes. As we enter into 2022 a varied but joyous collection has emerged to carry us through the last of the winter. It seems the band from London are keen to brush past the rolling on nightmare that is the Covid-19 pandemic through this album, bringing a backdrop of positive upbeat melodies sometimes set against controversial lyricism, but providing a happy overtone to the collection. As ever, Dan Smith’s unique vocals lift the tracks and stand out within each track whilst the instrumental aligns with the lyrics to create a whole world within each song. This album marks an evolved band and seems pivotal in the Bastille journey: the songs have a decided, affirmed, contented nature reminiscent of the band’s own position.
It opens with a dramatic headspace in ‘Distorted Light Beam’ that launches into a catchy chorus. The synthy instrumental sits as dream-like with its dance beat creating the perfect tune for a bop. It poses a strong opener to capture your imagination for the rest of the collection. Parallels can be drawn with ‘Stay Awake’ which incorporates a strong bassline and states ‘let my dreams run away with you’ to showcase an unreal lived experience, which reflects the creative instrumental. The beginning sees a female-spoken quote to set the tone before a reverbed Dan Smith, showcasing Bastille’s classic use of mixed media to produce their art.
‘No Bad Days’ makes use of Dan Smith’s earthy voice to complement the diverse range of instrument, inclusive of a piano solo. This song provides an opportunity to show off Smith’s vocal acrobatics and the whole vibe sounds inherently Bastille, as well as giving an enhanced gritty feel they execute so well. Meanwhile, ‘Plug in…’ can be seen as the token political and philosophical mouthpiece of the album, constantly questioning ‘are we having fun now?’ causing the listener to question the society we live in. Surprisingly, the song confronts such intense issues with a disco-like melody during the middle of the song, so that the listener is not lost in the song’s harsh questions.
In contrast to these somewhat intense melodies, ‘Thelma and Louise’ brings a pop tinge to the album, referencing the famous film to express the essence of adventure likely craved by many after being locked down for months, immediately an appealing tune to the masses. Brining a similar pop vibe is ‘Shut Off The Lights’, potentially the most joyous track on the album using tropical-sounding melody and bringing out the party in the album, for sure making you want to get up and dance, a mighty celebration of living. ‘Future Holds’ shows another immense celebration of life using gospel tones in its feature of Bim, whose credentials include coordinating the Gospel choir of the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Her feature provides an uplifting hold for listeners, concluding the album with a hopeful atmosphere.
The title’s namesake song ‘Give Me The Future’ sounds like classic Bastille with the rousing background providing certain escapism, especially when the string instruments crescendo towards the latter half of the song, combining drama with ‘nothing is certain and the song isn’t done’, encapsulating the complete message of the album – to hold on to the hope of the future in dark times, a completely apt sentiment.
By Ellie Back
Photo credit - https://chuffmedia.com/artists/bastille