‘It’s dead… wrapped in auto-tune.’
Perhaps that’s a bit of a misnomer (if an appropriate quote). If anything, the debut EP from this synth-enamorued act from the Big Smoke’s gushing heart is planted firmly on their sleeve, almost to a fault, as these four tracks positively overflow with emotional outpouring. And Bastille choose to pour it out in the sort of over-the-top, (soap) operatic fashion that’d effortlessly fit right into the soundtrack of the TV show the eponymous prom queen/corpse made famous.
Gothic organs and processed 808 drum beats echo about within four-minute Greek tragedies updated for the 21st century (well, sort of. They’re probably still about girls). Sometimes, Bastille very nearly reach to the dizzy heights of theatric pop they’re desperately grasping for; others, they slum it in cringy Hurts-esque faux-eighties territory.
It’s when they ditch the Transylvanian atmospherics (complete with rubber bat) and vocodered emoting for a bit of an up-tempo and some proper pop, along with another pop culture reference, that things begin to take a more palatable shape; ‘Things We Lost In The Fire’ is genuinely catchy, ready-made for repeat listens, and is therefore miles more affecting than any of the moody balladeering it surrounds itself with.
More like this
Intent on exploring society’s rapidly-changing relationship with technology via escapism and dreaming, the latest album from chart-toppers Bastille is ambitious in more ways than you might expect.
Bastille’s choral, digestible power pop DNA is present, but grittier than usual.
The biggest and best new tracks this week.
The biggest and best tracks of the past week, rounded up and reviewed.