To finish off my series about UK artists, I'll mention a band that, unlike Two Door Cinema Club and Bloc Party [from my posts earlier this week on Monday and Wednesday], is at the beginning of their career. They gained popularity relatively recently and hopefully won't go down in history as an "one hit wonder" in America. Starting as a solo project by lead singer Dan Smith, Bastille is a four piece indie pop/rock group. It includes Dan Smith, Kyle Simmons, William Farquarson, and Chris Wood. They all play many instruments and contribute vocally for the band so it is useless to concretely define their positions in the band other than to mention that Dan Smith is the lead singer and Chris Wood plays drums. [Fun fact: The band is called Bastille because Dan Smith's birthday lands on Bastille Day (July 14th).]
This is how it all went down: Bastille released some self-written and self-produced music (mostly done by Dan Smith) on the internet and started gaining popularity and a fanbase in the UK. They subsequently got signed in the UK, released an album, and earned awards and notoriety. I know that's a very brief way of explaining what I'm sure was a very complex journey from their formation in 2010 to the present, but I'm addressing UK bands that broke the US, so let's get to that part.
Their debut album Bad Blood (2013) did extremely well in the UK, debuting at number one in March of 2013 after releasing singles as early as spring 2012. The single Pompeii is what gained them major popularity within the US. It is one of those tracks that regularly plays on Top 40 radio. The song has an awesomely catchy chorus and starts out with just as addicting chanting in the beginning. This song definitely leans more towards synthpop than rock and has interesting lyrics.
The main reason I wanted to mention this band was to show how one good tune can break a band in the US. The part that most groups or artists struggle with is keeping that momentum and popularity. You know, "Sophomore Slump" and all of that. Bastille is currently in that all important moment when they can either hold onto this break or let it fade. As a band with multi-instrumentalist members who majorly write and produce their own songs, I think they have all the tools necessary to extend their success. Rumor has it that they have already started on album number two. I personally can't wait to see how this all plays out.
Until next time, happy listening!