I’m such a sucker for indie love songs. I am and I don’t much care who knows it! All This Bad Blood is a re-release of Bastille’s awesome album Bad Blood with a few extra songs thrown in for good luck. If I had to describe this album in one word, it would be ‘haunting’. The combination of the lead vocals sounding a bit echoey and way the backing vocals always seem to be chanting makes the hairs on my arms stand up like they’re trying to absorb all of sound. I’ve been listening to this album on loop for a while now, and even though I the entire record is pretty solid, here are a few of my favourite. I hope you like them as much as I do.
Pompeii (3:35) | video
“But if you close your eyes, does it almost feel like nothing’s changed at all? And if you close your eyes, does it almost feel like you’ve been here before?”
From the first note, this song really sets the tone of the album. If you don’t like it, I really doubt you’ll enjoy much of what follows. I’m a big fan of the way Bastille use drums and chanting vocals in this song. In a strange way it manages make the chanting haunting but hopeful. Some of my favourite songs act like time machines, they transport me to an earlier time in my life, Pompeii is one of those songs. The lyrics refer to the ancient Roman city of Pompeii that was destroyed and preserved for later generations to study. You can chose to see the lyrics as a metaphor for life, growing up, or that the band were really into Pompeii. I like to think it is a little bit of both.
These Streets (2:56) | audio
“But even if we won’t admit it to ourselves..“
This song instantly transported me to a place in my past when I struggled to let go. As the song played, I felt like I was the me making the decision all over again and instead of feeling sad I felt empowered.
The xylophone/glockenspiel is amazing in this song, combined with the drums it gives it this really bouncy calypso feel that makes me dance. Not want to, but when I hear this song I cannot help but sway side to side. Even sat down this song will elicit at least a hip wiggle. Bet.
Of the Night (3:35) | video
This was the song that drew my attention to the band. Of the Night is a mashup of “The Rhythm of the Night” by Corona and “Rhythm Is a Dancer” by Snap. You know when you half know the lyrics of two similar-ish songs and you blend them into one song in your mind? Of the Night by Bastille is that song. What is also really surprising is that they’ve managed to turn two upbeat dance songs into a beautiful but solemn piece. Some of my favourite songs are reinterpretations of the original artist’s work.
The video is very moving. It follows a Crime Scene Detective as he investigates a series of horrible murders. The victims are of all ages, all races and he becomes increasingly distressed with each scene he visits. The lyrics, “This is the rhythm of my life” take on a whole new meaning with this song combined with the video. It is a violent and uneasy watch, but it does add to the song.
I really struggled to pick out my favourites because I really think this is a consistent album. It is rare for me to like a song, then like the album just as much if not more. I usually just end up listening to the single on repeat and removing the rest of the album from my listening queue. Even though they have a mix of songs, Bastille’s All This Bad Blood is very formulaic (strong lead vocals + chanting backing vocals + interesting drumline + feeling of nostalgia/dread), yet they manage to give each song a different feel while still retaining their sound. I think that is pretty darn cool.