Bastille prove that their music is once again too good to miss with a highly-infectious new single WHAT YOU GONNA DO???, featuring Blur’s Graham Cox on guitar and vocals. Yet this time, the release comes with a twist, as the four-piece band have dropped this single completely out of the blue, surprising and delighting fans everywhere.
Even bigger of a surprise comes still when listening to the single. Listeners are used to the indie-pop style of song, with previous hits such as ‘Good Grief,’ ‘Thing We Lost in the Fire’ and, of course, ‘Pompeii’ springing to mind. Yet ‘WHAT YOU GONNA DO???’ takes a sharp detour from this, having a much more fast-paced and rocky feel to it. And I think that this new direction really works – it is exciting, a burst of adrenaline, and its energy can’t be contained.
What is really striking about the song the boldness of it. From the capitalisation and multiple question marks in the title to the wild animations of the music video produced by London-based animator Rezza, this song is clearly intent on gripping us. From the moment the guitar sets in, Bastille take us on a wild ride, carrying us up to dizzying heights and then abruptly dropping us back. It really reminds me of The Dandy Warhols’ ‘Bohemian Like You,’ another song which throws you into the deep end straight away and leaves you feeling like you’ve just been in the fast lane, head still spinning, but with a need for more. The song hones in on the online experience, with lyrics such as ‘Sally’s never outside / Got a screen to hide behind.’ This, accompanied by the music video, at this point showing an animation of a girl with an eyeball for a head which is literally glued to a smartphone screen, really shines a light on the contemporary internet-fuelled society we live in.
The chorus highlights the tug-of-war experience of everyone fighting for the band’s attention, with the lyrics ‘You got us listening / So what you gonna do with it?’ Again, I love the bold, abrupt nature of the lyrics here, as well as in the pre-chorus, with ‘Shake, rattle and roll / You got control, got my attention / Make me tap and scroll,’ as it challenges the recipient to use this gained attention wisely. It is confident and high-impact, with Smith’s voice perfectly matching the rock sound of the single. This is such a fresh sound for the immensely talented band, who take it all in their stride, showing their ability to handle multiple genres of music with enthusiasm and ease.
‘WHAT YOU GONNA DO???’ knocks on our smartphone screens and demands that we WAKE UP, dazzling us with the multimedia music video which reminds me slightly of the iconic animation style used by the Gorillaz, and leaving us feeling like this is just the beginning. This is reiterated by the final few seconds of the music video, showing a figure headed towards a monstrous black hole, accompanied by broken transmissions and satellite fuzz, perhaps a metaphor that we really have only scratched the surface of what Bastille have to offer next.
It truly does only get better for fans of the band, as it has been confirmed that they will headline Latitude Festival in 2021, alongside Snow Patrol and Lewis Capaldi, proving that better days are coming. For now, however, we have this single to keep us pumped, and hopefully, in the nearby future, some more music to accompany it.