Review: Bastille – Bad Blood

Bastille have come a long way since beginning as a solo project in Dan Smith’s bedroom. After gathering up members and releasing an EP and mixtapes online, Smith’s indie-pop quartet has amassed a loyal fan base that is sure to soar in numbers with the release of their debut album Bad Blood.

The album opener and single “Pompeii” is inescapable on the airwaves at the moment with that catchy “eh-oh” Teletubby chanting. Smith’s voice is pure, and his soulful inflections succeed in carrying the emotional lyrics of the album, from the melancholic title song “Bad Blood” to the pining cries of “Get Home”.

“Flaws” stands out as one of the strongest tracks. Happy synth beats clash with the bittersweet longings of the words. Panicked verses in “Laura Palmer” swell from anxiety into a liberating chorus. The album’s major themes of uncertainty in life and relationships are relatable for a young audience.

Bastille dabble in various genres in Bad Blood. There are reggae beats, chillwave bass undertones and 80s vibes. Then there is the simple ballad “Oblivion”, which is lovely until you pay attention to the cheeky words: “Are you going to age with grace?”

Bad Blood is full of contrasts, but it works to create a refreshing blend. Dark indie lyrics set against up-tempo beats produce an album that is fun to listen to, whatever your mood.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Rachel McLaughlin

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