Over the course of nearly a decade together, Bastille’s unique sound – that cinematic, melancholic pop that masks the bleak realities reflected in their lyrics – has connected with audiences across the globe like no other British band in recent memory. In 2011 South Londoner, Dan Smith, started Bastille alone in his bedroom, releasing 300 copies of Bastille’s debut single. Relentless gigging, genuine word of mouth, some smartly curated mixtapes meant that within a few years — and with Chris Wood (drums), Will Farquarson (guitar) and Kyle Simmons (keyboards) added to the line-up – Bastille became a global phenomenon.
The band’s chart-conquering twice No.1 debut album ‘Bad Blood’, which featured the international hit, ‘Pompeii’ was the biggest-selling digital album of 2013. They became that year’s biggest-selling global breakthrough act, with over a billion Spotify streams earning them the British Breakthrough Act award at the 2014 Brits, along with two Grammy nominations. Since then ‘Bad Blood’ has gone triple platinum and sold over 1 million copies in the UK alone.
Bastille’s second album ‘Wild World’ retained the vivid, rich, filmic song-writing of its predecessor but pushed the band’s distinctive sound in exciting new directions. Like Bad Blood the album scored a No.1 in the UK, and Top 5 in the U.S, going Gold in the process. The record’s lead single, Good Grief achieved the most week-one streams ever for an alternative single and scored them a nomination for Best British Group at the 2017 Brits. In 2018 the band collaborated with Marshmello on hit single, “Happier”. The track topped charts around the world, with cumulative streams exceeding 3.5 billion, is now certified 5x Platinum in the U.S. and has sold more than 15 million units in the rest of the world. It spent a record-breaking year at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Dance/Electronic songs tally. The same year they played the Re-Orchestrated tour, with a show at London’s prestigious Albert Hall, reworking their songs to feature a live Orchestra and choir. The tour received rave reviews from critics describing it as brilliant, bold and brave.
Bastille’s third album, Doom Days received huge critical acclaim and charted in the top 5 in both the UK and U.S, the only UK band to have achieved this chart landmark alongside The Beatles and Queen in 2019. The record found the band at their most lyrically provocative, most accomplished, and most vital and charts the course of one night in search of distraction from the surrounding apocalypse. During the course of 2019 the four-piece continued to cement their reputation as one of the world’s most captivating live bands having played an extensive two month-long sold-out U.S and UK tour. At the beginning of 2020 the band received their sixth Brit nomination and their second nomination for British Group.
Over the course of the rest of the year, they released a handful of tracks that would form the ‘Goosebumps’ EP. They teamed up with Blur’s Graham Coxon for “What You Gonna Do???”, exploring frustrations around the shallow ways society’s attention is manipulated and wasted, while “Survivin’” reflected on anxiety, self-doubt and the overwhelming nature of modern life. With US producer Kenny Beats working on the title track, the record ushered in a new chapter of the band, expanding their sound as they continued to pen songs that offer escape from and understanding of the modern human condition. In 2021, Bastille were the subject of ReOrchestrated, a documentary film that provided a revelatory and bracingly honest new look into the band, framed through their ReOrchestrated shows and diving into themes of drive, motivation, anxiety and imposter syndrome.
Last month Bastille kicked off a new era with their latest single, Distorted Light Beam. The song, a gleaming, metallic rush of retro-futuristic pop, was co-written and co-produced with Ryan Tedder alongside the band’s long-time collaborator Mark Crew. The track is the first release from the band’s hugely anticipated forth studio album released later this year.
With over 11 million records sold, 6 UK top 40 singles and 1.5 billion video views, Bastille continue to be one of the world’s most streamed bands.