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Bastille (stylised as BΔSTILLE) is a British indie pop band formed in 2010. The group began as a solo project by lead vocalist Dan Smith, but later expanded to include keyboardist Kyle Simmons, bassist and guitarist Will Farquarson and drummer Chris "Woody" Wood.[2] The name of the band derives from Bastille Day, which is celebrated on 14 July, the date of Smith's birthday.[3] Smith has said that the band was initially going to be called Daniel in the Den before they settled on Bastille. The name was later used for the 10th track on their album Bad Blood instead.

Bastille logo.svg
Bastille's logo since 2010.
Background information
OriginLondon, England, United Kingdom
Years active2010–present
  • Dan Smith
  • Kyle Simmons
  • Will Farquarson
  • Chris "Woody" Wood

After an independently released debut single and a self-released EP, the band signed to Virgin Records.[4] Their first studio album, Bad Blood, was released in March 2013 and entered the UK Albums Chart at number one and included the hit single "Pompeii" which peaked at number two on the UK Singles Chart. The band was nominated for four Brit Awards at the 2014 ceremony, winning the British Breakthrough Act.[5] As of February 2019, Bastille have sold over nine million records worldwide.[6][7]


Formation and early releases (2010–2011)Edit

Bastille debuted in July 2010 with their limited edition 7" single that featured the two tracks "Flaws" and "Icarus". Released through London-based independent record label Young & Lost Club, only 300 copies were pressed.[8] One of the copies found its way into the hands of Alex Baker, presenter of the unsigned/independent artists radio show on Kerrang! Radio. Baker started to support Bastille on air, and the band began to find an audience. They released the EP Laura Palmer themselves later in 2011.[9] After debuting further tracks online through sites such as YouTube and MySpace, the band's audience started to grow.[10] In December 2011 Smith signed a contract with Virgin Records.[4] The group subsequently secured a few support slots and later performed at major UK festivals including Glastonbury, the Isle of Wight, Redfest, Reading and Leeds Festival and Blissfields. The band also recorded and released two parts of their mix-tape titled Other People's Heartache for free.[10]

Bad Blood and All This Bad Blood (2012–2015)Edit

Bastille in concert at Queens' College May Ball, 2013

On 27 April 2012, their first official single release, "Overjoyed", was released through Virgin Records, as confirmed by EMI on 1 May 2012.[11] Following its video premiere in November 2011, popular music publication, Q Magazine introduced the track as its 'Track of the Day' for 7 March 2012.[12] The second single to be released from the upcoming debut studio album, Bad Blood, was the eponymous track, "Bad Blood". An accompanying video for the single was released on the band's official VEVO channel on 29 June 2012, and digitally through Virgin Records on 20 August 2012. Bastille were also named 'New Band of the Day' by British newspaper The Guardian in July 2012.[13] The song charted moderately at number 90 in the United Kingdom, and saw the group's first entry into the chart. In August 2012 the band performed at UK festivals like Reading and Leeds, as well as supporting British singer-songwriter Emeli Sandé. They later played a small headlining tour, titled 'Flaws Tour' in October 2012, with Swiss Lips as their support act. in November 2012, the band performed at Hong Kong's Clockenflap Music and Arts Festival, their first outside of Europe. Their third single, a re-release of their first 7" non-album single "Flaws", was a commercial success, earning the group their first position in the UK Top 40, debuting at number-twenty-one. The song "Oblivion" was featured in Season 4 Episode 9 of The Vampire Diaries in December 2012.[14]

Dan Smith at Provinssirock festival 2013 in Seinäjoki, Finland

In February 2013, Bastille confirmed the release of the fourth single to be taken from Bad Blood, "Pompeii". The song was positively reviewed by critics, reaching number two in the United Kingdom and number five in the US. Their debut album Bad Blood was released on 4 March 2013, and placed at number one in the UK Albums Chart . On 11 March, Bastille were announced to be playing at Reading and Leeds Festival in August 2013.[15] In an interview with Digital Spy in March 2013, "Laura Palmer" was revealed to be the fifth single to be released from the album, by lead vocalist, Dan Smith.[16] It was released on 3 June 2013, and an accompanying video for the track premiered through the band's official VEVO page on 12 April 2013.[17] The group joined English rock band Muse as a supporting act on their The 2nd Law Tour in May 2013 and did so again in June 2013.[18] In May 2013, Bastille released their Haunt EP in the US via iTunes. On Saturday 6 July the band headlined their first UK summer music festival at Blissfields.[19] Smith was quoted as saying "We're massively excited about our first ever headline slot at a festival. Particularly because we love Blissfields so much, and because they've been so supportive to us over the last couple of years." The performance coincided with the band appearing on the cover of a national music publication, Notion magazine, for the first time. On 24 August 2013, "Things We Lost in the Fire" was released as the sixth single from the band's debut album.[20] A music video for the song was shot in Vilnius and Kėdainiai, Lithuania.[21] On 3 September 2013, Bastille released their Bad Blood album in the US via iTunes.[citation needed]

On 9 October 2013 Bastille released a new single, "Of the Night", a mash-up of the songs "The Rhythm of the Night" by Corona and "Rhythm Is a Dancer" by Snap!. The single debuted at number two on UK Singles Chart. The song was promoting All This Bad Blood, a reissue of the band's debut album, released on 25 November 2013. In January 2014 Will Farquarson said in an interview with Billboard magazine that the band had already started to work on its second album in between tour dates.[22] The band performed on Saturday Night Live on 25 January 2014. On 4 February 2014 Bastille won the BRIT Award for Best Breakthrough Act and performed a remixed version of "Pompeii" with Rudimental and their song "Waiting All Night" at the ceremony. Two hours after their appearance, sales of Bad Blood were up by 132% to give them a second week at number one in the UK album chart and "Pompeii" had climbed 29 places in the singles.[23] On 1 April 2014 the Official Charts Company announced that Bad Blood was the biggest selling digital album of 2013, and Number 11 in the over-all Official Artist Albums Top 40 of 2013.[24] Also in April 2014, the band performed at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California. On 31 May 2014 the band took part in the Annual KROQ Weenie Roast in Irvine, California, performing among other bands including The Neighbourhood and Fall Out Boy. On 13 July 2014, Bastille played at T in the Park. In September 2014 they released the last single from Bad Blood, "Oblivion". The Bad Blood Tour finished in 2014.[25]

VS., Wild World (2014–2017)Edit

Dan Smith (2015)

In late 2013 Bastille began to play new songs called "Blame" and "Campus". Another song called "Oil On Water" was played during sound-check and leaked online.[citation needed] They began proper work on the album in 2014,[26] and planned to start recording it in September.[27] Farquarson said that they had "16 or 17 tracks" demoed already for the album. He also said “We’re going into the studio in September to record; hopefully by then we’ll have 20 or maybe more. I think it’s always better to have more material and whittle it down. Our producer has gone on tour with us, so we’ve been doing things on our days off and during sound-checks."[27][28] Dan Smith said the album will include more guitars saying "we didn't really have much of that on the first album and it may not end up on it but it would be quite interesting to try it out. We feel quite free. If we want to go quite electronic then we can and if we want to go more rocky and indie then we can."[28] On 21 October 2014 Bastille announced their third mixtape, VS. (Other People's Heartache, Pt.III) with the release of their song "Torn Apart", featuring the artists Grades and Lizzo,on Zane Lowe's BBC Radio 1 show. They also wrote and recorded the song "The Driver" for the re-score of the film Drive which was released a week later and also featured on the mixtape. VS. (Other People's Heartache, Pt.III) was released on 8 December 2014 and featured the Gemma Sharples Quartet, Haim, MNEK, Tyde, Rationale, Lizzo, Grades, Angel Haze, F*U*G*Z, Braque, Rag'n'Bone Man, and Skunk Anansie. In November 2014, Bastille were featured on the Band Aid 30 version of "Do They Know It's Christmas?".[29] They were nominated for Best New Artist at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards,[30] but lost out to Sam Smith.[31]

In 2015, Bastille recruited a new touring member, Charlie Barnes.[32] On 22 September 2015, Bastille released an independent single called "Hangin'". The band also featured on the Kill Your Friends (2015) soundtrack with a cover of the Sugababes debut single "Overload". It was announced via Facebook that their second album would be released in 2016. Also, during that summer, the band debuted two new songs live: "Grip" and "Snakes".[33] In April 2016, the band debuted a new song entitled "The Currents".[34] On 2 June 2016, the band uploaded a trailer including an excerpt from the then-unreleased song Two Evils announcing the name of the album to be Wild World.[35] On 9 June, it was announced that the band's new single, "Good Grief", would be released on 16 June 2016.[citation needed] On 16 June 2016, Annie Mac debuted "Good Grief" on her BBC Radio 1 show as the "hottest record in the world." The track was immediately released to radio, streaming services, and for purchase following the debut.[36] In an interview with Mac following the song's premiere, Dan Smith revealed that their second album would "go through a variety of sounds, but it is very much us [Bastille]." On 24 June 2016, Bastille performed the songs "Good Grief" and "Two Evils" live for the first time at Glastonbury Festival as part of their set on the Other Stage.[37] On 30 June 2016, Bastille announced the release of the second LP Wild World and embarked on their Wild Wild World Tour in July.[38] Released on 9 September, the album reached the top of the mid-week sales chart,[39] while the band set up pop-up shops in London, New York and Los Angeles to promote the release.[40] On 16 September, it was confirmed that Wild World had reached #1 on both the U.K. and Scottish album charts.[41] On World Record Store Day 2017, the band released an original song titled "Comfort of Strangers."

Doom Days and Other People's Heartache, Pt. IV (2018–present)Edit

Bastille performing at the 2019 Isle of Wight Festival

The band announced their third studio album, which was released on 14 June 2019.[42] Speaking to NME, Smith said "We never really stop writing and recording, but I can confirm we spent a lot of this year writing our third album."[43] On 1 September 2017, the band headlined the annual Pilton Party[44][45] Held at Pilton Worthy Farm, home of Glastonbury Festival. On 9 November 2017, the band released a music video for “World Gone Mad”, a song for the Netflix movie Bright.[46] On 23 November 2017, Craig David and Bastille released "I Know You,” the second single from David’s album, The Time Is Now. The single peaked at number 5 in 2018.[47]

On 9 May 2018, "Quarter Past Midnight", the first single from the group's third album Doom Days was aired on BBC Radio 1.[48] On 17 August 2018, Bastille and Marshmello released their single "Happier", which reached a high of 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in February 2019.[49][50][51]

In early December 2018, the band announced a release date of 6 December 2018 for their single "Grip" which features EDM duo Seeb. Also released was "Other People's Heartache, Pt IV" on 7 December 2018 which featured the likes of Craig David, Jacob Banks, James Arthur, Kianja, Lily Moore, Moss Kena, Rationale, Swarmz, and S-X.[52][53][54] A limited edition Record Store Day 2019 version of the mixtape was released in independent record shops on 13 April 2019.

On 25 April 2019, Bastille released the second single and title track from their third album Doom Days. On 2 May 2019, the third single from the album, "Joy", was premiered on Scott Mills' show on BBC Radio 1.[55]

On 17 May 2019, Bastille was featured on American pop duo FRENSHIP's song titled "Won't Let You Go" on their debut album Vacation.

On 14 June 2019, the band released their third album Doom Days.[56][57]


Bastille's music has been used on the TV soap Hollyoaks with one week in the early summer focused on Bastille's song "Laura Palmer". Their music also has been on: Made in Chelsea and The Vampire Diaries.[58] Bastille can also be heard on 2014 autumn EastEnders trailer with "Things We Lost in the Fire". They can also be heard on Teen Wolf and on the fourth episode of How to Get Away with Murder with the Naughty Boy collaboration "No One's Here to Sleep". Their song Pompeii is featured in First Touch game, First Touch Soccer 15, the Konami game, Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 , and the 2014 movie, Mr. Peabody and Sherman. The song "Haunt" can be heard in the season 1 finale of the TV series Finding Carter.[59]

The band's music has appeared in the FIFA video games four times: "Weight of Living, Pt. II" is featured in FIFA 13, "Hangin'" is featured in FIFA 16, "Send Them Off!" is featured in FIFA 17 and "The Waves" is featured in FIFA 20.

"Fake It" is featured in eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer 2020.

Bastille's music has also been featured in the simulation game The Sims 3 in the Supernatural DLC, specifically the song "Laura Palmer" which is dubbed over in the videogame's language of [Simlish]

In August 2017, the band released a version of the Green Day song "Basket Case" for the Peter Serafinowicz series The Tick.[60]

In 2019, a cover of Can't Fight This Feeling was recorded by the band for the John Lewis and Waitrose Christmas advert.[61][62]


Studio albums

Band membersEdit

Current members
  • Dan Smith – lead vocals, piano, keyboards (2010–present)
  • Kyle Simmons – piano, keyboards, backing vocals, bass, guitar (2010–present)
  • Will Farquarson – guitar, bass, backing vocals, piano, keyboards (2010–present)
  • Chris "Woody" Wood – drums, percussion, backing vocals (2010–present)
Touring members
  • Charlie Barnes – guitar, piano, keyboards, synthesizers, backing vocals, percussion, bass (2015–present)

Awards and nominationsEdit

Bastille have won several music awards and landed many nominations, including ones for Brit Awards, Billboard Music Awards, World Music Awards, and Grammy Awards. Bastille has sold over 9 million records worldwide.[6]


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External linksEdit