Bastille – Laura Palmer EP

We’ve got a bit of a thing for Bastille at HMCMB. We’ve introduced them when they were just front man Dan Smith, interviewed them and even recorded some of our HMCMB sessions with them. Through that amount of interaction we’ve seen Bastille grow and develop into the band they are now, and watch all of their successes, of which there have deservedly been many . Bastille have managed to build a career out of playing unabashed pop music as it should be, thick with ambient synth and soaring hooks and vocals, yet somehow do so in a way that seems quite far removed from their mainstream pop counterparts. Said career has so far consisted of some brilliant covers and their double A side Flaws/Icarus single, and seems to be heading in an exciting direction.

It’s great to see them pushing their boundaries for their EP. By all means, the same catchy hooks and electronica  are nestled snugly at the heart of each track, but there’s plenty of variety here to be engrossed by. Dan Smith’s voice is still the focal point of each track, somewhat understandably considering the impressive vocal range he has access to, and the passion he can invoke so naturally. This is especially pushed in their Laura Palmer EP. It’s a perfect example of  quite how much a voice can achieve, and how potent a weapon great vocals are in any bands arsenal.

Thematically, hastily chanted verses that provide the sense of urgency and build up that the soaring chorus’ provide such a cathartic release from, Laura Palmer is as great as it’s ever been since its uploading on YouTube earlier this year. Overjoyed, a song for which the video has just been released (above) shows a new but probably inevitable influx of bass and wobble that the post-dubstep movement has transformed into the aural motif that now signifies the clean zen like progression of modern electric music. The highlight of the EP though has to be the brand new track ‘Things We Lost In The Fire’. The accompaniment of some jaunty piano and heartening strings show a different side to Bastille that deserves some thorough exploration. The EP ends with ‘Get Home’, which shows off the  massive vocal range on offer in Bastille. It’s a slower track to end on, but no less worthy of attention. Bastille have successfully delivered an outstanding EP that has retained the emotion and quality of their earlier offerings, whilst playing with some new song structures and instrumentation that never gives you time to bore. With talent as unequivocal as this, it’s hard to see them not being successful, but still, make sure you grab  a copy of their Laura Palmer EP HERE. There’s no way you’ll regret it.

Oh and to sweeten the deal any of you Hype Machiners (Hypers? Hypists? Blog aggregator fans?) may have spotted Bastille’s equally brilliant cover of rap group City High single ‘What Would You Do’ sitting proud at #1 for a few days. The lyrics have always been poignant, but in the light of Bastille’s ability to create atmosphere, and to reiterate, incredible vocals, the song is transformed into the epic reflection of societal values and inequality it was supposed to be. Incredible incredible stuff. Check it out below.

What Would You Do (City High) – Bastille [right-click to download]