Giving truth to Memphis youth
By Keturah Harris
White Station High School
The list of English musicians whose music has landed on the US Billboard 200 has been extended by Bastille, the alternative rock and synthpop band from London. The band is composed of lead vocalist Daniel Smith, pianist Kyle Simmons, bassist William Farquarson, and drummer Chris “Woody” Wood.
Simmons, Farquarson, and Wood all also serve as back up vocalists. The name of the band is derived from the French holiday, Bastille Day. Bastille Day is July 14, which is coincidentally Daniel Smith’s birthday.
The British quartet’s debut studio album, Bad Blood, was released on Sept. 3, 2013 in the United States, but was released and certified platinum in the UK in March 2013. It not only charted on the US Billboard 200, but it managed to chart at number one on the UK Albums chart.
The album is composed of 15 songs, three of them being bonus tracks. Daniel Smith draws his inspiration from Greek mythology, the Bible, and popular culture. For example, the seventh track, “Icarus,” is inspired by the Greek mythical character of the same name. The song “Daniel in the Den” alludes to the Bible.
“Pompeii” is the opener of the album and their best-selling song. It was inspired by the Roman town, and how the eruption of Mount Vesuvius destroyed it. Despite having dark lyrics like “…And the walls kept tumbling down in the city that we love,” “Pompeii” sounds very upbeat and has powerful back up vocals. It’s a catchy tune played by many radio stations. “Things We Lost in the Fire” is another upbeat tune and it also follows the theme of destruction. “Laura Palmer” was inspired by a character on one of Smith’s favorite TV shows, Twin Peaks.
Bad Blood is worth the listen.
It isn’t groundbreaking, but it is impressive for a debut album. Smith’s powerful and raspy voice, rhythmic drum-beats, and the lyricism stand out in the crowd of mainstream music. Like I mentioned beforehand, Bastille relishes in having a story for each song.
Overall, I’d give Bad Blood a 3.5/5.