While Bastille‘s last album, 2019’s Doom Days, told the story of an apocalypse unfolding over a single night of partying, the “Pompeii” outfit’s newest effort feels like a tale of an apocalypse in slow motion.
Give Me the Future, the fourth studio effort from Dan Smith and company, is essentially a sci-fi film in album form, pondering the dangers that technology and virtual reality might have on real life.
In beginning to write the album, Smith tells ABC Audio he and his band mates “looked at escapism through the lens of the future through the lens of technology, and our relationship with technology and what that then says for our relationships with ourselves and other people.”
“I guess as lockdowns and the pandemic progressed, the idea of making this science fiction album emerged with these songs,” he says.
In looking for a sound to match those themes, Bastille decided to “heavily lean into the retro-futuristic,” turning Give Me the Future into the most electronically-driven album of their career, as heard in the opening track, “Distorted Light Beam.”
But in between those electronics, you’ll hear more organic instrumentation in songs including “Thelma + Louise,” “Shut Off the Lights” and “Club 57,” which Smith says represent important moments on the album.
“We wanted to use the sonics of the album, and the arc of the album, to draw you in and pull you out of it,” Smith says. “It opens with ‘Distorted Light Beam,’ which is very direct, very electronic…Then it goes off and we time travel to early ’90s America for ‘Thelma + Louise.'”
He adds, “I guess the whole album is drawing you back-and-forward, in-and-out of your head, in-and-out of the future.”
Give Me the Future is out today.