Track Review: Bastille – WHAT YOU GONNA DO???

Written by Culture, Music

Well, when Dan Smith of Bastille fame started teasing fans with mysterious short videos on Instagram, the answer to his question was clear. Sit here and let my seven year Bastille obsession take over again, of course.

WHAT YOU GONNA DO??? is a two minute song that pulls you in and refuses to let you go. It makes every conceivable attempt to grab your attention, from the brightly coloured art featured on the singles cover, the animated music video that is one of the most batshit crazy and wonderful things I’ve ever seen, never-mind the caps in the title and the excessive amount of question marks. Graham Coxon (Blur) works his guitar magic to transform what might’ve been a more traditional indie/pop track into what we could probably call Bastille’s first rock song.. And oh boy, am I here for it.

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WHAT YOU GONNA DO??? ʇɥɓıuoʇ

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Not one to sit around and gloss over the increasingly negative world we live in, and with album titles that become more and more relevant as time goes on (2019’s Doom Days and 2016’s Wild World), it was only a matter of time before they let themselves loose to make something like this. Their years from Dan as a solo artist to an underground band produced more indie/pop sounds, full of unconventional song references, from Greek mythology (“Icarus”) to David Lynch 90s TV show “Twin Peaks” (“Laura Palmer”). Even the song that threw them into the limelight, “Pompeii”, wasn’t a point of view breakup song, but an optimistic-sounding bop that became an ear-worm throughout 2013 despite having incredibly depressing lyrics about the literal burning of a city.

‘WHAT YOU GONNA DO???’ seems to be questioning pretty much everyone and everything online. They describe the song as containing “a few little stories that all center around how weird it is to have everybody and everything fighting for our attention, our eyes and ears, all the time. It’s a challenge to those people to offer something a bit better, funnier and more worthwhile once they’ve got us listening (…) Making this music has been a brilliant distraction for us during what has been a fucking weird year for everyone, and hopefully the song is a raucous, loud 2 minutes of eye-rolling escapism for you.” Escapism for sure, I’ll just be dreaming about the day I can hear it live.

‘WHAT YOU GONNA DO???’ feels like the song of a revolution… Vive le group Bastille (thanks google translate).

Last modified: 2nd August 2020

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