‘Wild World’: Walls not crumbling down on Bastille’s new album

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

The band that gave us the ever-familiar indie ballad “Pompeii” in 2013, Bastille has just released their second album on Sept. 9, 2016. “Wild World” is a bolder and more emotionally relevant album with as much energy and unique sound as Bastille gave us in their first album, “Bad Blood.” The band, comprised of Dan Smith, Kyle Simmons, Will Farquarson and Chris “Woody” Wood, formed in 2010 and picked up Charlie Barnes in 2015 as a touring member. This album proved that Bastille could hold its own against the myriad indie-pop groups cropping up in the current entertainment climate.

One aspect of Bastille’s music that set them apart from the beginning was their unusual lyrical timing, which sounded new and interesting when we all first heard it three years ago. Tis sound has continued into “Wild World,” and if you were to hear any of the songs on the radio it would be no question as to who was singing. Smith’s British accent is also very clear and pronounced when he sings, an attribute of some bands, like Te Smiths and Te Kooks, that I have always enjoyed hearing. Despite the similarities between “Bad Blood” and “Wild World,” it is delightfully apparent how far the band has come since the beginning. The sound and lyrics have developed far beyond any songs prior to this album.

New to this album is a heavier use of guitar, which can be heard in “Power” and “Blame,” and it sounds really good. The guitar mixes with Bastille’s traditional, electronic beats and drives the songs, making them more powerful. Lyrically, many of the songs seem to be more coherent and relatable than songs before “Wild World.” Not to say that the vagueness of songs like “Daniel in the Den” and “Pompeii” didn’t have a place, but it’s refreshing to be told a story by songs like lead-single “Good Grief” and “Warmth.” That does seem to be the purpose of this new album, to give the audience a distinct narrative. Not always chronological and not always obvious, “Wild World’s” songs tell of the deaths of friends and personal struggles interspersed with moments of clarity and, occasionally, fun.

One feature of this album that initially put me off was the use of vintage movie sound clips dispersed throughout. I have never been a fan of hearing spoken words before or after songs— and maybe with individual songs I still oppose it—but after “Warmth” it began to fit with the feeling of the album. Listening to the album in full feels like watching a movie, and is how it should be experienced the first time. Wild World does an incredible job of creating a unified feeling between the songs while still giving each song individuality. It is easy to distinguish songs from each other after only a couple listens, something I would not have expected from Bastille prior to this album. In “Bad Blood” there was too much overlapping of sounds between songs. This band has obviously grown in the past three years and Wild World is the indisputable proof.

Bastille hit its stride with this album and to the excitement of fans, much more is likely to come from Dan Smith and fellow band members. Aside from the narrative and unique sound of Bastille, they make music that is exciting to listen to. We now know they are open to developing better and better music with the addition of the stronger guitar and diversity of sound. If you have not been a fan of Bastille before, now is the time.