Give Me The Future, Bastille’s wildly ambitious and brilliantly bold new album, is set for release on February 4th, 2022. To celebrate the announcement, the band released their new single “No Bad Days,” accompanied by the official video co-directed by Dan Smith on October 19th.
The album 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 online living, it’s as playful and fun as it is thought-provoking, as dystopian as it is dance floor-friendly, and as electronic as Bastille has ever been.
Songwriter, 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 Smith. “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 fantasy wonderland free from restrictions. Each song is 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 automation. This enables the listener to get lost inside their imagination. The album is laced with references to the world of sci-fi film, literature, video games and virtual reality.
It’s a record that takes the idea of the limitless possibilities of the future and journeys from a joyride of escapism on the uplifting “Thelma + Louise,” a tribute to the iconic feminist film on its 20th anniversary, to 80’s New York with the artist Keith Haring on the bright and whistling “Club 57”, and to a hospital bed in Australia for the devastating but hopeful new single, “No Bad Days”. Co-directed for the first time by Smith, the music video for “No Bad Days” is set in a modern laboratory and sees Dan playing a character using machinery to try and resurrect a lost loved one. Nodding to the classic technological tales of Metropolis, Ex Machina and The Matrix, the video paints an emotional and intimate story.
“It’s really satisfying to have finally directed and I’m really proud of the little film we made. I grew up with film as my main obsession, so this was a bit of a dream. I learned a shitload, and it was good to be challenged in a new way,” Smith states.
The song has disco bass lines, orchestras of synths, guitars, gospel, spaceship sounds, euphoric strings, vocoders, talk boxes, a choir of roadies, and a host of beats. The title track, “Give Me The Future” 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.
Having thrown themselves into co-writing for other artists in recent years, for the first time ever on a Bastille album, the band inched open the door to collaborators. Although primarily produced by 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 who has worked with Adele, Paul McCartney, and Taylor Swift, as well as contributing 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, who has worked on Britney Spears’ “…Baby One More Time” and Lady Gaga’s Chromatica Album. They also worked with British writers Jonny Coffer, Plested, and Dan Priddy to bring the album to life.
You’ll also hear the voice of award-winning actor, musician, writer, creator, producer, director, and activist Riz Ahmed on a spell-binding and evocative spoken word piece called “Promises.” Ahmed’s piece was a response the album and brings its overarching themes into sharp focus.
Over the course of their previous three albums, Bastille have cemented a reputation for building whole worlds around their releases, often doing so with innovative, award-winning creativity. Give Me The Future is no different, this time accompanied by a fictional, but familiar, tech giant called Future Inc., the creators of an invention called “Futurescape,” a device which allows users to live out their dreams virtually. It’s weaved through every element of the campaign and can be seen in the videos for all three singles: “Distorted Light Beam,” “Thelma & Louise,” and “No Bad Days.”
Sonically diverse and conceptually adventurous, Bastille’s fourth album, Give Me The Future pushes the band into exciting new frontiers. The record serves as less of a judgement on current life, but rather a reflection on where we are and perhaps where things could be, “I’m just observing the truly weird times we’re living in and having fun responding to it through these songs,” Dan says. “As the final track “Who Knows What the Future Holds… Don’t Matter If I Got You” says, this is happening, whether we like it or not. Finding happiness in the moment is surely the aim, whether it’s in the real or virtual world.”
“You don’t predict the future, you imagine it,” says Future Inc.
GIVE ME THE FUTURE TRACKLISTING:
1. “Distorted Light Beam”
2. “Thelma + Louise”
3. “No Bad Days”
4. “Brave New World” (Interlude)
5. “Back To The Future”
6. “Plug In…”
7. “Promises” (by Riz Ahmed)
8. “Shut Off The Lights”
9. “Stay Awake?”
10. “Give Me The Future”
11. “Club 57”
12. “Total Dissociation” (Interlude)
13. “Future Holds” (feat. BIM)