Bastille: American Invasion

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Olivia Gulino, Contributing Writer

 

photo courtesy of Noisy Giraffe
photo courtesy of Noisy Giraffe

For most, “Bastille” brings to mind a historical French prison, bloody revolutionary activity and an annual fireworks display. For those with a penchant for British alt-pop, “Bastille” means something else, which can be considered revolutionary in its own right.

The UK-based band Bastille (BΔSTILLE) is bursting onto the scene in both the U.K. and the U.S. with its first full-length album “Bad Blood,” expertly balancing enticing melodies and harmonies with just enough electronic mastering to make it addicting.

Aside from a delightfully sincere vocal performance by Dan Smith, the main thing that keeps me coming back to Bastille is the band’s lyrics. “Flaws,” arguably one of the best tracks on the album, recognizes that when it comes to our flaws, “we pick ourselves undone.”

Likewise, “Haunt (Demo),” found on an EP of “Bad Blood” remixes, does, in fact, haunt you with the realization that “maturity shows the terrifying rarity of truth.”

The irony of Bastille is that its new album covers a wide range of emotions, but not in the way you would think. First of all, “Overjoyed” is not exactly a cheery song. And a track entitled “Weight of Living, Pt.II,” which would typically lend itself to a severely depressing ballad, is actually quite peppy.

To satisfy the inner-Groundhog in us all, Bastille also offers tracks like “Pompeii,” which is sure to inspire in its listener an appropriate amount of Rome-sickness. But the strong bass throughout the song and the captivating chant-like vocals also give us hope that it will get better and that Romers will stop posting pictures on Facebook.

If you need a soundtrack for the beginning of your semester, whether you’re mourning the loss of summer, trying to scrape together some modicum of motivation for the semester ahead or looking beyond the Bubble to life after the University of Dallas, Bastille can help on all accounts. Bastille is a band I can see gaining quick popularity in the U.S. and not simply because of the British accents.

 

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