On April 21, Bastille released a live rendition of their song “Blame” from their 2016 album, Wild World. Although this is not the first live recording off the album, it got me thinking: this album has impact.
Wild World was released on September 9, 2016. This was shortly before the U.S. election, but the world was already feeling the turmoil of the political atmosphere before President Trump took office. Following the election, the album--which is largely composed of political commentary--became even more poignant.
However, Wild World seems to have gone rather unnoticed. Amongst my friends, I am the only one who has listened to a track other than the lead single, “Good Grief." Online, I have only encountered two other people who feel as strongly as I do about the album. Why? This I cannot answer. “Blame” is chilling in the live version, where the notes of the piano and Bastille’s lead singer, Dan Smith’s, voice can be heard very intimately. Personally, I get chills from listening to it.
The rest of the album, live or not, is absolutely thrilling to me. It’s unique in that it does not focus on romantic relationships but has an introspective view on our relationships to our feelings about the world and the people in it. How did the music world ignore an album of this nature?
Even though I do not have an answer, what I can do is urge a politically broken world to listen to an album that is commentary on the current state in which we live. From politics to capitalism to misogyny, Bastille touched on it all in the 19 track work. With every song being written by Smith, they can be assumed to have personal meaning; he obviously feels very strongly about the current political atmosphere. He ties our current state to history with soundbites from old documentaries and radio shows, like the following quote from the 1948 cartoon, Make Mine Freedom: “When anyone preaches disunity, tries to pit one of us against the other...that person seeks to rob us of our freedom and destroy our very lives.”
This quote, which can be heard in “The Currents” is just one of the many historical dialogues that hits close to home in modern times. Other tracks, such as “Lethargy” are more personal, and examine feelings perpetuated by this torn world. One track, “Shame” even addresses growing apart from a friend, something I think many of us have experienced lately as opinions have become grounds for the termination of some friendships. With all this in mind, I think Wild World is an album that went largely underrated at its release, and deserves a listen from everyone.
Listen to the song below from when the band performed at Coachella: