'No Angels' was completely worth the 11 year wait! It's emotive, solemn, and completely beautiful.
To celebrate 10 years of their debut album ‘Bad Blood’, alt-pop four piece Bastille have finally released their mash up cover of TLC’s ‘No Scrubs’ and The XX’s ‘Angels’.
Back in 2012, before Bastille were Brit award winning, the band were releasing mixtapes entitled Other People’s Heartache. As the name suggests, these mixtapes featured covers of famous songs such as ‘Blue Jeans’ and ‘Thinkin Bout You’, as well as promoting small snippets of their future Bad Blood tunes like ‘Pompeii’ which debuted at No.2 in the charts! For so long, these songs have only been accessible through Youtube, despite being incredibly popular with the fans, with one of the favourites being ‘No Angels’. Well, what a treat for the Stormers (aka Bastille’s fans) because over 10 years after its conception, ‘No Angels’ has finally been released on streaming platforms!
‘No Angels’ is a melancholy track, opening with a beautiful violin melody which quite honestly made me want to cry from nostalgia. The instrumental sets the scene for the solemnity to follow, however, fans of the original demo will notice the omission of the “A boy’s best friend is his mother speech” from Psycho which added to the sombre vibe. Although sad, the listening experience isn’t ruined because those violins still sound amazing, and I think they’d make a popular sound on tiktok!
We then get to hear the wonderful instrumental from The XX’s ‘Angels’. It’s a minimalist backing track, but it works so well! It is dreamy and enchanting, but of course, this isn’t a review of The XX’s track, so what I’ll praise instead is frontman Dan Smith’s choice to use such a beautiful instrumental.
Dan then chimes in with his deep, indie vocals, singing the lyrics to club banger ‘No Scrubs’; it really is a stroke of genius to turn such a sassy song into such a sad one, but Dan manages it!
Ella Eyre then sings the second verse and chorus wonderfully. Ella has become a huge name in pop music with singles such as ‘Came Here For Love’ and ‘Answerphone’ thanks to her recognisable voice which blends so nicely with Dans. I’d never realised it until now, but their vocals both have a certain sexy scratchiness to them which lends itself so well to this emotional track.
In the middle eight, the two popstars pull an emotional croon of all middle eights as they ceremonially sing ‘nooooooo scruuuubsssss’ over and over again until they hit us with a spiritual awakening in the last chorus where they pull the belter of all crescendos; it really is one to shout in the car, plus the beauty of covering an already popular song means we know all the words already!
‘No Angels’ is a wonderfully emotional track performed by two unique and expressive voices and I just know it’s gonna go down well on tiktok! And in another exciting Bastille news, the band have revealed they will also be giving us another track from Other People’s Heartache soon; a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’ featuring Gabrielle Aplin. How exciting!
‘No Angels’ is available to listen here via Banquet Records: