Bastille

  • British indie synth pop rock group formed in 2010 from London England. Members of the group are Dan Smith (frontman, lead vocals, keyboards, guitar, songwriting), Kyle Simmons (backing vocals, keyboards, bass guitar), Will Farquarson (backing vocals, guitar, bass guitar, keyboards) and Chris Wood (backing vocals, drums).
  • Smith started writing songs when he was 15 years old, though he kept it a secret until a friend persuaded him to enter a songwriting competition when he was 21 years old. He was a finalist, and he decided to try a career in music after he finished college. He started a solo project which he named Bastille, since his birthday was on July 14, the same day as Bastille Day in France. Eventually, he added Simmons, Farquarson and Wood to the group.
  • In 2011, they recorded and self-released a 7″ single titled Flaws with Icarus as the B-side – only 300 copies were made. A copy was found by a radio host who supported the band. Later that year, they recorded an EP titled Laura Palmer, and they released additional songs on social media. By the end of 2011, they were signed to a recording contract.
  • Their debut album, Bad Blood, was released in 2013. The title track to the album reached #2 on the Alternative Airplay chart and #95 on the Hot 100. A re-recorded version of Flaws peaked at #5 on the Alternative Airplay chart. Their breakout came with the release of the single Pompeii in early 2013. The song reached #5 on the Hot 100 and it topped three other Billboard charts. It was top 10 on 22 other charts internationally, and it would end up as the #12 song on the Hot 100 for the entire year of 2014. The album was certified platinum in the U.S. and it sold 6 million copies globally.
  • They toured extensively in 2014, including performing at Coachella and on Saturday Night Live. They were nominated for a Grammy for Best New Artist, but they lost to Sam Smith. In 2016, their second album was released – Wild World. It won the Best Album award at the 2017 NME Awards, a British music award show. The song Good Grief reached #2 on the Alternative Airplay chart, and Blame peaked at #4 on the same chart.
  • In 2018, they collaborated with EDM artist and DJ Marshmello, releasing Happier. It was a huge hit, reaching #2 on the Hot 100 and topping four other Billboard charts. It also was #2 in the UK, and was top 10 on 35 other International charts. It was ranked at #33 for the entire decade of the 10s by Billboard for their Hot 100 chart – the highest ranking of any song that did not reach #1 on the chart. It was the #1 song on Billboard’s Dance/Electronic Songs chart for 69 weeks – by far the most of all time for any song (the song with the second-most weeks at #1 is The Middle by Zedd, Marin Morris and Grey, which was #1 for 33 weeks).
  • Bastille released a third album in 2019, titled Doom Days. Five singles were released, but they were not as popular as songs from their earlier albums. In 2021, they released four singles from their Give Me the Future album, to be released in 2022. Rolling Stone issued their first UK-based magazine in September 2021 (50 years after a UK version owned by Mick Jagger went under), and Bastille was on the cover of the first magazine.
  • As indie bands go, Bastille enjoyed two mega-hits that no doubt has paid the bills for the group. Here is Pompeii – an infectious song about what it must have been like to perish during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. And then, watch the video to Happier – a tear jerker about a young girl and her best buddy, her golden retriever. You will definitely cry at the end, if you are a softie like me. Enjoy!

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