At first glance the striking artwork for Bastille’s second album, ‘Wild World’, may prompt a number of questions. Who are the two individuals balanced precariously above a cityscape? Why are they there? What will happen next? But Dan Smith’s own interpretation of the image is one that runs through many of the songs on Wild World, “To me, the image isn’t about what’s just happened or what happens next,” he begins. “It’s not about how they got there or how they get down. It’s about showing a moment — two friends existing in that split second in that exact space, two people framed in the vast context of this huge mad metropolis that we’ve all built. They’re there out of choice.”
It’s just five years since South Londoner, Dan, started Bastille alone in his bedroom, releasing 300 copies of Bastille’s debut single. Relentless gigging, genuine word of mouth and some smartly curated mixtapes meant that within three years — and with Chris Wood (drums), Will Farquarson (guitar) and Kyle Simmons (keyboards) added to the line-up, Bastille became a global phenomenon; the band’s chart-conquering debut album ‘Bad Blood’ selling over 4m albums alongside 11m singles. In the UK, the twice Number One album was certified double-platinum and named the biggest-selling digital album of 2013. Hit singles ‘Pompeii’, ‘Flaws’, ‘Laura Palmer’ and ‘Things We Lost In The Fire’ helped Bastille become that year’s biggest-selling global breakthrough act, with over a billion Spotify streams and in turn earning the band British Breakthrough at the following year’s Brits, along with two Grammy nominations. They have also collaborated with acts like Haim, Kate Tempest and Angel Haze, and Dan co-founded and co-runs an indie label, Best Laid Plans, helping to develop acts like Rag ’N’ Bone Man and Rationale.
And that, it turns out, was only the beginning. Bastille’s second album ‘Wild World’ retains the vivid, rich, filmic song-writing of its predecessor but pushes the band’s distinctive sound in exciting new directions. Lyrically, too, it’s a leap forward. “If our first album was about growing up and freaking out about it” Dan explains, “Our second is about trying to make sense of the world around you, both as you see it and as it’s presented to you through the media. It’s also about asking questions of the world and of the people in it. We wanted the album to be a bit disorientating - at times extroverted and introverted, light and dark.”