Everyone has an album they know inside out. Albums you like come and go, but there’s always one that you know not down to the last lyric, but down to the last beat. If someone had told my sixteen-year-old self that my album, Bastille’s Bad Blood, wouldn’t receive a follow up for three long years, a small-scale nervous breakdown would likely have followed.
Bastille have been away refining an elaborate concept album in which each track paints part of a bigger picture – a horrific dystopian society of sorts, which is unnervingly reminiscent of the state of the world today. Track two, The Currents, embodies this, opening with a discordant pairing of dirty synth sounds and light strings, setting us up for the clash between catchy melodies and sinister lyrics throughout – ‘do you even know what year it is? / I can’t believe the scary points you make.’ In Warmth, Smith suggests seeking solace in another to escape this depressing and turbulent ‘Wild World’.
Any long-term listeners of Bastille may notice that Wild World seems stylistically closer to the band’s roots than Bad Blood. Film recordings litter the tracks (the album itself opening with a sample from Weird Science: ‘So, what would you little maniacs like to do first?’) much like in the experimental early mixtapes Other People’s Heartache part I and II (which are still available somewhere in the depths of the internet and are certainly worth a listen). This adds to a greater sense of authenticity on this record than the last – where, in Bad Blood we had relatable generalisations that were difficult to pin down, in Wild World we get a clear channel into Smith’s mind. A track which rings particularly true of this is Campus, which boasts funky syncopated beats which accompany a distinct complaint of futility and unoriginality in university – ‘Someone else’s hard work and research, taking you up in the world’.
My inner adolescent hysteria was revived upon the announcement of Wild World, and it certainly was not disappointed. I just pray it isn’t forced into hibernation for another three years.