Every week we will bring you a song that we have been hammering lately. It might be a new release, but equally it might be an album track, or something that was released a while ago which we have only just discovered and/or come to truly appreciate.
Here at popfoolsHQ, we don’t pay much attention to what ‘the radio’ (or even ‘the music channel’) plays. We find it a bit patronising in this stage of the internet to literally be spoon-fed our music choices by some middle-aged man. We are humans though, and sometimes listen to a bit of radio in the car, on days when we don’t feel in the mood for our extensive range of car CDs (current selection includes Katy Perry, Hadouken!, Marina and The Diamonds, Amy Winehouse, and Friendly Fires). Such a day happened last week, and we caught the end of a replaying of Bastille’s Live Lounge session on Radio One. ‘We must check this ‘Bastille’ character out’ we thought.
It turns out Bastille is not a character, but indeed a set of characters. We suppose one might just call them a pop-band although certainly not in the One Direction sense of the world; they are definitely on the more ‘indie’ side of the spectrum (see also: Friendly Fires and Fenech-Soler. Both bands we like a lot.) They’ve been releasing music quietly for quite a while, partly on a small label and partly just chucking it out on the internet themselves. But now they’re signed to a major and their majorfication is completed by this single, not-so-easy-to-spell ‘Pompeii’.
It’s hard to put our finger on why exactly it sounds so good to us. It has nonsensical chants not only present and correct, but forming a big part of the song. (The chants go ‘eh-eh-oh-eh-oh eh-eh-oh-eh-oh’ and would probably sound about 37% more divine if uttered by a female vocalist). We like the style of the song, as we’ve already said on the indie side of pop rather than the pop side of pop. Production sounds nice and fresh; we especially adore the drumbeat and the synthy repetition in the verses.
The lyrics are very good indeed – examples include ‘but if you close your eyes / does it almost feel as if nothing changed at all?’ and we suppose the song is about being depressed (‘Many days fell away with nothing to show’) but then realising that the world is bigger than you (‘And the walls kept tumbling down in the city that we love’) and really, like a volcano, perhaps you just have to erupt once in a while and then get on with it. In a way, this is the sort of song we would want to see Coldplay release in an ideal world when they started being good again. We like the vocals – unlike many popstars fed to us, Dan Smith’s vocals actually sounds really nice and not like the sound of nails down a chalkboard. At 1:32 another band member joins in to offer some harmonisation, which is absolutely gorgeous.
Excitingly, the song isn’t out until February 24th, so although this leaves us wondering whether we should have done this as a new release feature rather than as song of the week, it does make us look a bit trendy doesn’t it. We imagine that this will be a UK top ten smash although we wouldn’t like to predict exactly how high, given that idiots are still buying ‘Gangnam Style’ and that James Arthur single in droves. We presume that Radio One are playing this non-stop, as it’s already on the B-List, so that helps.
VERRDICT: This song is (and we don’t use this word lightly) pretty epic.