COLUMN: Why you should listen to Bastille’s music


Ian Stobaugh, Columnist

You’ve most likely heard the song “Pompeii” on the radio or anywhere really. The first place I heard it was in the trailer for the “Mr. Peabody and Sherman” movie that came out in 2014. I had already heard the song, but I decided to listen to more of the band’s music. The second song I listened to was “Things We Lost In The Fire.” I was immediately hooked.

After being a fan for seven years, I was excited to hear that Sept. 9 of this year marked the fifth anniversary of the band’s second album, “Wild World.” That one album got me through middle school, which means it got me through a lot.

The album came out just before the 2016 presidential election, which is ironic since Bastille is from London, and it tells a story about how corrupt both politicians and big news outlets are.

It goes through themes of hopelessness, anger, loss and fear. The band shifts their sound every album, and this album is rock-heavy with a diverse set of sounds. It’s a totally different sound from their debut album, “Bad Blood,” which feels very hollow in comparison to “Wild World.”

I remember seeing them in concert on Nov. 29, 2018. I wish I had waited a bit, though, since their next album “Doom Days” came out a year later in 2019. I wish I had seen that tour since it’s my favorite album. The entire album walks through a night at an “apocalyptic house party,” meant to signify escapism from the world that’s currently crashing down around us. 

This album shows themes of love, euphoria, dread and loneliness. It’s a very interpretable album since the lyrics are pretty literal and detail the protagonist’s thoughts or sensations rather than what’s going on around him.

Comparing the album to “Wild World,” this album is a lot more about giving up than fighting the situation of the world. The band’s frontman, Dan Smith, explained that people go to concerts to escape the world around them, so he felt bad pushing political and social issues into their faces during the “Wild World Tour.” This album is more of an “apology” for the album.

While their fourth album hasn’t been released nor announced yet, the new singles are definitely forming the theme for the new album. They’re very “Black Mirror”-esque, talking about how we allow technology to take over our lives because of a need to escape; if you couldn’t tell, escapism is a big theme within all of their music. The new album has a lot more synths and is definitely more of a futuristic sound.

If you’re looking to listen, I recommend not starting with their first album. Their sound has drastically changed since then, and while it’s a great album, they’ve definitely grown from where they’ve started, both as musicians and people.

Ian Stobaugh is a freshman German major.  He can be contacted at 581-1812 or [email protected].