It’s a wild world out there, but luckily we have good music to make us feel better.
That is exactly what British indie-pop band Bastille’s second album, “Wild World,” gives us. The album turned one year old Sept. 9 and, like all birthdays, there must be celebration.
Bastille burst into the semi-mainstream spotlight around 2013 with “Pompeii” from its first studio album, “Bad Blood.” But it had been making music way before that and was even a one-man show at one point with lead singer and songwriter Dan Smith singing and playing the keyboard alone.
By all accounts, Smith searched everywhere for his bandmates and found three (now four) brilliant instrumentalists, Smith taking on the role of the charismatic man-crush singer with the exceptionally beautiful voice.
The guitarist and perhaps the most quiet of the group is William Farquarson. Kyle Simmons is the keyboardist and probably the silliest of the bunch. Chris “Woody” Wood is the long-haired, badass drummer.
Recently the band attracted a new member, Charlie Barnes. Barnes is quiet but turns into a rock star when the band lets him have an electric guitar solo. He also has a pleasant high-pitched voice for backup.
All together, the members of Bastille bring us a mix of emotions with “Wild World.” From just one listen of the album, you experience happiness, sadness, hope and hopelessness. These feelings are magnified when you read the lyrics to the songs.
Bastille is often told it makes its songs sound happier than they probably should be. The lyrics are often dark, yet the sound could well be what puts a baby to sleep. That’s the magic of Bastille and the “Wild World” album.
And though Bastille may only have two albums, “Wild World” surpasses the band’s first album. It gives listeners a different perspective on life, which is what music is supposed to do.
On “Wild World,” songs like “The Currents” preach unity and dissects our feelings during a time when everything seems so politically, philosophically and emotionally divided. The song works for any situation.
Other songs on “Wild World” cover serious topics and often include sound bites of dialogue from media analysis or classic films that enhance the song’s meaning (although some can argue the song can stand alone).
In particular, Bastille’s “Way Beyond” tells us of the dangers of excessive media attention in difficult, tragic times.
It includes a soundbite from an aged video on media’s coverage of crime and victimization. Speakers in the video shed light on the comfort in which many viewers consume the news while news reporters often force statements from victims still in shock.
It is like a silent cry for all of us to just be human and have compassion. After all, the quintet seems like the nicest bunch of guys and they are awfully humble about their work.
It is easy to recognize the band’s album cover. It is as distinct as every member.
Talking about the album cover last year, Smith told Rolling Stone Magazine that the focus should not be on what was done to get two men sitting on a ledge of a tall building in New York City – or what was done to get them down.
The focus, Smith said, is on the men being so high up in the air, sharing a special moment with each other at the exact same time in their lives.
“Two people framed in the vast context of this huge mad metropolis that we’ve all built – they’re there out of choice,” Smith told Rolling Stone.
And perhaps that is why their music speaks to so many people.
With his statement on the album cover, Smith reveals a truth about Bastille’s music. “Wild World” explores the bigger picture of life and then singles out the purpose.