Bastille's wildly-ambitious and brilliantly bold new album Give Me The Future is a tribute to humanity in a tech age and reflects on the strangeness of living through times that can feel like science fiction. Exploring both the opportunities of new technology and the dark side of lives lived online, it's as playful and fun as it is thought-provoking, as dystopian as it is dancefloor-friendly, and as electronic as Bastille have ever been.
Eerily, songwriter Dan Smith came up with the idea pre-pandemic. The album was already underway and the band on hiatus from touring when the world shut down, forcing interaction solely through screens. "Working on these songs in such an apocalyptic period, with everyone stuck at home, glued to screens, fed into the feeling that what is real and what is not has become pretty difficult to discern sometimes," says Dan. "We're in the age of deep fake, fake news and lying world leaders. But online, you can be anyone. What that does to our sense of self and to our relationships is huge and it's fascinating."
Give Me The Future takes us into a sci-fi wonderland free from restrictions – each song a different danceable dreamscape, a place where you can travel back and forward in time to be anyone, do anything and embrace a new wave of technology which enables us to get lost inside our imagination. The album is laced with references to the world of science fiction film and literature, video games and VR. It's a record that takes the idea of the limitless possibilities of the future and journeys everywhere from a joyride of escapism on the uplifting, "Thelma & Louise" – a tribute to the iconic feminist film on its 20th anniversary, to ‘80s New York with the artist Keith Haring on the bright and whistling "Club 57", to a hospital bed in Australia for the devastating but hopeful single, "No Bad Days." You'll hear disco basslines, orchestras of synths, guitars, futuristic gospel, spaceship sounds, euphoric strings, vocoders, talk boxes, a choir of roadies and host of beats. The title track tips its hat to Phil Collins and The Police, "Shut Off The Lights" is a sonic love letter to Paul Simon's Graceland and "Stay Awake?" nods to Daft Punk and Quincy Jones.
Although primarily produced by Dan Smith and long term production partner Mark Crew, the band also worked with a handful of writers and producers to expand the world. "Distorted Light Beam" was co-written and produced with Ryan Tedder (Adele, Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift) who also helped as a sounding board and executive producer for the album. "Thelma + Louise", "Stay Awake" and "Back To The Future" were co-written with legendary songwriter Rami Yacoub (Britney Spears' "...Baby One More Time", Lady Gaga's Chromatica Album). They also worked with British writers Jonny Coffer, Plested and Dan Priddy to bring the album to life.