Bastille’s ‘Bad Blood’ was released Ten Years Ago!


Ten years ago I was wearing black skinny jeans, a denim jacket, and a pair of dirty white converse. I wanted to go to Leeds University, I listened to To Kill A King, and I watched Twin Peaks; all because I loved Bastille- my original influencers. 

Bastille was the first band I loved because their pessimistic lyrics spoke to a miserable and angsty thirteen-year-old me. They often referenced my favourite literature and movies, and I thought Dan Smith was so hot and pensive! I have since grown out of this phase, not even really being that bothered by seeing them live at Boardmasters last year. I don’t listen to much of their music now and I don’t endlessly stalk Tumblr and Twitter to see what the band are up to, but Bad Blood is probably the most sentimental album for me, always giving me a comforting wave of nostalgia and reflection. 

Bad Blood was Bastille’s debut album, released in March 2013. The album was nominated for Album of The Year at the 2014 Brits (losing out to Arctic Monkeys’ AM which Tbh is well-deserved) and spent three weeks at No.1 in the UK Album Charts. It was a very successful start to the band’s musical career, and they have continued to keep up this great reputation. Genre-wise, Bad Blood is an indie pop album with lots of narrative behind it. Kyle Simmons on the keyboard adds lots of electronic beats to the music and drummer Chris Wood adds catchy beats that build the foundation of every song. 

Bastille after winning ‘British Breakthrough Act’ at the 2014 Brits
Via Capital FM

‘Pompeii’ was the biggest single off the album for the London quartet, and it was the first song I heard from them. Songwriter and frontman Dan Smith says this song depicts a conversation between two doomed victims of Mount Vesuvius’ eruption. This scene makes for a very emotional and beautiful story with iconic lyrics, especially the incredibly hard-to-decipher post-chorus sentence (it’s “How am I gonna be an optimist about this?”). The drumming in this song is also incredible, with the catchy eleven isolated bass drum beats being stuck in my head all the time! Although I wasn’t overcome with excitement to see the band at Boardie’s when they played ‘Pompeii’ I did feel a bit emotional. Not to be too whiny but when I first entered my teenage years I was filled with lots of anxiety and agoraphobia, which meant I didn’t think I would ever see Bastille live. It was so surreal to experience a song that still means so much to me and realise that I had come a long way in the past decade. Not only was I in a massive crowd and loving life, but I also wasn’t climbing the stage to kiss Dan and get a lock of his hair, which 13-year-old me sooooo would’ve wanted me to do!

Via Youtube/BBC

An unappreciated song on the Bad Blood album is ‘These Streets’. It’s such a groovy little number that’ll get you dancing and is one of my top Bastille songs ever! My favourite, however, is ‘Daniel in the Den’ – and I still remember it’s track 10 because I’d always put it on first in my mum’s car (CD’s, eh?). I’m not sure if my mum also loved this song or she was just humouring me, but we spent many hours driving and singing along to this beautiful ballad. I honestly couldn’t tell you why this song is my favourite, listening back I don’t really understand the lyrics, so maybe it was the beautiful piano melody and the choir-like backing vocals in the chorus. Whatever it is, it makes a beautiful song. 

I’m also a big fan of the eponymous track, ‘Bad Blood’, which has a beautiful bass line provided by William Farquharson. This song is very synonymous with being young and having a lot of anger and dread. The band provides insight into the tune on Spotify, writing that the bass line and “chunky beat” was inspired by Gorillaz, which now listening to it makes perfect sense! They also say it’s about the typical experience of being a young teenager in Britain when trivial things like arguments and disagreements seem so important. Funnily enough, I had fallen out with my friends at this time, and this song was like the universe was bringing me a comforting message that everything will be okay. Actually, the whole album felt like that. 

Bad Blood has an incredibly sentimental feeling to me. It was an album I loved through a tough period of my life, and the best thing was I got to share it with my mum. This year, Bastille are touring to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the album, which I’m sure will be a wonderful trip down memory lane for the band and the fans. It’s a beautiful album that I’ll hold in my heart forever. 

You can relive the good old days and listen to ‘Pompeii’ here:

Via Virgin Records Ltd.


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Editor in Chief 22/23 & Fundraising, Events, and Publicity Officer 21/22, and occasional Deputy Editor :)

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