Album Review: Bastille - 'Doom Days'

‘Doom Days’ pretty much sums up the feeling that most of us hold about the world in its current state. Headlines are turning ever bleaker and the world is seemingly a darker place than it has been in a long time. This is ultimately what Bastille’s third album is trying to capture. However, in a time of sadness and madness, Bastille have been able to offer a more optimistic snapshot of reality.

Personally, I don’t think anything will top ‘Pompeii’ (a song that it definitely stuck in your head now that it has been mentioned), but it seems that this new album shows a real development of the band from the early single. The dilemma of wanting to continue to live life as normally as possible and continue the party despite the fact that the world is crumbling around outside of us is a key theme throughout the tracklist, highlighted by the large contrast between the lyrical content and the instrumentation.

The first track on the album ‘Quarter Past Midnight’ is particularly upbeat, yet the lyrics talk of “Chasing after something like we’re trying to throw our lives away,” which seems to be a discussion of living in the moment and not caring about the consequences, whilst simultaneously raising the question of whether we are on the right path.

One of my favourite tracks on the album is ‘Divide.’ The track fits more with the ‘Doom Days’ title whilst revealing a crucial message – “Why divide when we can come together?” The album’s profound lyrics propagate the view that the individualistic nature of today’s world is sad and to some extent dangerous, and we should be focusing on coming together to fight the issues and not separating ourselves. Another standout track in my opinion is ‘Those Nights’ which discusses our need for others and ‘looking for hope these days’ – something that is highly relatable.  

The great thing about Bastille is that even without listening to the deeper meaning behind the lyrics, one can enjoy the songs. There is no denying that Dan’s voice is superb, and the upbeat nature of their songs means that the album can be fairly easy listening too. Their records are stacked with tracks to sing along to whilst getting ready for a night out, if you aren’t fancying a slight existential crisis by overly analysing the lyrics. (This could just be something that goes hand in hand with being a philosophy student though!)

This album takes you on a journey, with a rollercoaster of emotions occurring throughout, from bopping along to reflecting on the world’s issues in a matter of seconds, ‘The Waves’ truly exemplifying this. It’s definitely worth a listen if you are after a glimmer of hope in these ‘Doom Days.’

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