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Bastille - Give Me the Future (Album Review)

Friday, 11 February 2022 Written by Jacob Brookman

For Bastille’s fourth album, the London quartet have evolved the apocalyptic rave music they cultivated on 2019’s ‘Doom Days’ into something more optimistic and confident, and while ‘Give Me the Future’ deals with familiar themes (the post-truth world or AI or Dan Smith’s wistful yearnings) it might legitimately be called a concept record in its own right.

This feeling comes from a consistently fresh sound, scientific motifs that live long in the memory and a central story of a nervy-but-bright-eyed emergence from the pandemic. It marries these themes through high-quality songwriting and arrangements, and production that straddles electro-pop, indie and worldbeat with great ability.

That said, such a blend is a bit of a high wire act. Lead singer Smith’s earnestness can play both ways—it’s very heartfelt and compelling on No Bad Days, and pretty cringey on Plug In…, where he semi-raps.

The opener Distorted Light Beam is the best example of this interface: it is ostensibly a dreamy indie-disco track, but arrives complete with a string motif that takes the sound towards 1990s dance-pop suburbanites M People.

Similarly, Thelma + Louise is a pleasant easy-listening cut, but nearly runs aground after involving some highly dubious synth licks. Bastille continue to have this in their locker: they have great chops but sometimes they lean a little hard on the cheesy pop thing. Sting is the same.

The most triumphant track on the album is Shut Off The Lights, which merges Afrobeat arrangements with relentless vocal hooks and sweet, sunny guitar playing. It’s very late-era Coldplay and you can imagine the nodding grey-hairs in the diamond-encrusted FIFA boardroom when they're picking the next World Cup anthem.

All of which feels a little bleak, but ‘Give Me The Future’ is undeniable in many ways, not least its creativity, positivity and endeavour. Let’s just hope Gianni Infantino and his cronies don’t come along and ruin the band like they did with everything else.

Bastille Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Fri February 11 2022 - BRISTOL Marble Factory
Sat February 12 2022 - BRIGHTON Chalk
Sun February 13 2022 - SOUTHAMPTON Brook
Mon February 14 2022 - KINGSTON Pryzm
Tue February 15 2022 - OXFORD O2 Academy Oxford
Wed February 16 2022 - MARGATE Elsewhere
Thu March 31 2022 - BOURNEMOUTH Bournemouth Int'nl Centre
Fri April 01 2022 - HULL Bonus Arena
Thu April 07 2022 - LONDON O2 Arena
Fri April 08 2022 - MANCHESTER AO Arena
Sun April 10 2022 - GLASGOW O2 Academy Glasgow
Mon April 11 2022 - GLASGOW O2 Academy Glasgow
Wed April 13 2022 - CARDIFF Motorpoint Arena
Thu April 14 2022 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy Birmingham
Fri April 15 2022 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy Birmingham
Sun April 17 2022 - PLYMOUTH Plymouth Pavilions
Mon April 18 2022 - BRIGHTON Centre

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