Bastille have outdone themselves with their new record Give Me The Future + Dreams of the Past.
The last year has been a busy one for the London-based band. In June 2021, they released the first single off their fourth album: “Distorted Light Beam”. Four more singles and an album reveal followed months after, but they didn’t stop there. New tracks “Run Into Trouble” with Alok and “Remind Me” were released in April and June 2022. With yet another song, “Revolution”, following close behind in late July, Bastille made the big announcement: the world of Give Me The Future was expanding.
When announcing this new, extended album, frontman Dan Smith explained that the plan had always been to create a lot of music so they could expand on the original record later on. “There are three sections over two discs,” he wrote in an Instagram caption, “and the idea is that you can kind of choose your own adventure.”
Breaking away from the narratives of their previous albums, the band put their creativity to the test with their fourth album, Give Me The Future. Released earlier this year on February 4, Give Me The Future imagines life in a futuristic world. Across the original thirteen tracks, frantic lyrics, synthesizers, and robotic voices are just some of the features used to enhance the listening experience. The album is also filled with fictional references to support the idea that fiction is often more appealing than reality. For instance, the song “Back To The Future” alludes to the film which it’s named after, 1984 by George Orwell, Island by Aldous Huxley, Blade Runner, and The Wizard of Oz.
In the Dreams Of The Past segment, the narrative becomes concerned more with nostalgia than fantasies, but the eagerness to live a different life than the one that exists remains. A brief interlude greets, “Welcome back and enjoy this expanded journey” before transitioning into the next set of songs.
“Family Ties” is an ode to familial love and the memories you keep with you throughout your life. Mixed with an array of instruments—trumpet, saxophone, trombone—and a chorus of background vocals, it is a truly pleasant song and one of the brightest on the album. On the other hand, “Hope For The Future” ends this section on a gentler note. It remains rooted in the past (“The grasses of your memories, alive”) while still acknowledging the central theme of the future. Acoustic renditions of “Distorted Light Beam” and “No Bad Days” also make an appearance. Stripped down, these songs become delicate pieces and add to the emotional atmosphere of this section.
As described by Smith, the third section of the album gives way to “full-on dance floor heartbreak escapism”. The final five songs cleverly combine catchy beats with sentimental lyrics. Among these is a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing In The Dark” and features from Alok and Tyde. For the most part, the pacing of these tracks is moderate to quick. This time, the lyrics rather than the beat reveal the actual tone. “Remind Me” is far from sounding somber, but close attention to the verses and the emotion in Smith’s voice affirms what kind of song it really is.
If there’s one big takeaway from this album, it’s that Bastille is more than their radio hits. Their dedication to their craft is abundantly clear, especially when listening to all twenty-seven tracks in order. From poignant ballads to lively tunes to spoken word, each track offers something new. Music offers an escape and Give Me The Future + Dreams Of The Past will transport you to a world you’ll never want to leave.