10 for 2013: #2 – Bastille

By on Thursday, 13th December 2012 at 11:00 am

The band you voted #2 on the TGTF readers’ 10 for 2013 poll has been a stalwart of emerging music festivals in the UK in the last 2 years. Is 2013 their time? Read Cheryl’s profile on a project that started out with one man in London…

London-based Bastille is a former solo project started by singer/songwriter Dan Smith that has grown into a full band endeavor with Chris ‘Woody’ Wood, Will Farquarson and Kyle Simmons joining. Bathed in an ‘80s-like synth glow, Smith delivers a haunting sound within that beat. Signed to EMI/Virgin, the debut album ‘Bad Blood’ is set to be released in March of next year. The pre-release single ‘Flaws’ raised a kerfuffle when Smith used images from the 1973 film ‘Badlands’ for the video. The owner of the film, Universal, has effectively blocked out the video so we can no longer see the storyline Smith originally envisioned accompanying the song. Then the next single release ‘Overjoyed’ came from the ‘Laura Palmer’ EP and again had a video influenced by film buff Smith’s interest in cult films. With both the EP’s title and the video heavily referencing cult tv show Twin Peaks, Bastille took on the mantle of dark and quirky.

Best described as synthy pop with a bit of an edge, their music either walks a tightrope between musical worlds or can’t decide where to focus. Certainly Smith is following his own muse, as he should. I suppose he is hoping to nab a smattering of fans from many genres. It’s all a bit dark and brooding, a touch poppy and a tad indie, all wrapped up in a decent dance beat. “Vive le Eurodance … Bastille”, quoth Paul Lester of The Guardian this past summer, and we agree.

I particularly liked the cover of City High’s ‘What Would You Do?’ It shows a little more ownership of a style. That tune and ‘Sleepsong’ I feel are their strongest entries. Having played The Great Escape (a fave festival here at TGTF) both this year and last, Bastille is a band that is worth following to see where they go.

Interestingly, Bastille collaborated with another of our Ten to Watch in 2013 nominees, Gabrielle Aplin (who came in at #9), for a Fleetwood Mac cover that is downright brilliant (see video below). ‘Dreams’ holds all the original eeriness and adds an earthy base that makes it all that much more compelling. This you should check out.


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One Response

11:34 pm
13th December 2012

RT @tgtf: New post: 10 for 2013: #2 – Bastille: http://t.co/P0K2t37c

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