British band, Bastille, released their third studio album on Friday, June 14. This is the band’s first venture into concept albums. Exploring the themes of escape, “Doom Days” narrates what may happen when things might not be going as well as they could be.
Beginning with “Quarter Past Midnight,” and ending with “Joy,” the album follows the path of a night out at a party while the world outside is in turmoil. Each of the 11 tracks represents a time during the night, going from 12:15 a.m. with ‘Quarter Past Midnight’ to 8:34 a.m. with ‘“Joy’.”
Though each song is intertwined with one another through the main narration, the musical styles vary greatly, going from a somber ballad in “Divide” to the gospel choir assisted euphoric sound of “Joy.” Some songs feature the simple sounds of a plucked guitar, while others feature lead vocalist Dan Smith’s self harmonization. Some even have an ‘80s style synthesizer.
Though many of the songs within the album are thought provoking, the song “Doom Days” is an intriguing piece. This song references the movie “The Matrix” — the blue pill is to continue believing everything is okay, while the red pill is to reveal the tough truths of the world. Electronic Dance Music synthesizers are added into the song, along with more plucked acoustic sounds, making the song sound more suspenseful.
Even more impressive is Bastille’s ability to create numerous meanings to a song. This is one of the band's strengths, which is seen in all of their albums. Another strength of Bastille is their impeccable construction of lyrics with multiple meanings. This is showcased in the song “Bad Decisions,” which can be interpreted three ways.
First, the song can be seen as about the stupid things people do, even though they know it isn’t good for them. The next is about the point during a relationship where it would probably be best to end things, but you don’t want to let go just yet. Finally, the song can also be interpreted as a comment on the decisions that society makes as a whole.
Though it took nearly four years for Bastille to release this follow-up to “Wild World,” it is well worth the wait. The catchy, up-beat tracks and Dan Smith’s vocals are more than enough to entice listeners to play “Doom Days” on repeat.
The underlying meanings of “Doom Days” provide extra opportunity for listeners to interpret the lyrics, and the musical decisions, that make “Doom Days” so incredible. Overall, the music is fantastic, but the story and the meaning elevate “Doom Days” to a higher level.
Chris Mather is a freelance reporter with the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Chris_Mather31