Bastille – Laura Palmer EP (Self-release)



There’s an echo in the sky. Shafted by dubstep’s audience, it delivers an icy glare at the cattle market of mainstream clubs and flouts the attention of teenage hoards. The glossy curtains of the UK’s celebrated and largely feminine pop scene beckon it forward, but stadiums still quiver in nervous apprehension at its arrival. Bastille answer a different call.

Front man, staple band member and songwriter Dan Smith is a rare breed. He gorges on a resource that’s plotted a steady course over the past decade, but has been awarded to very few. Tom Vek captured it on his debut We Have Sound; whispers of it can be heard on Patrick Wolf’s The Magic Position and many expected it of James Blake. It’s the creative emancipation of a leftfield artist set to an accomplished and lethally tight production.

On their debut Laura Palmer EP, Bastille launch a high calibre advance with an eponymous track dedicated to Lynch’s cult icon. Well known to pre-existing fans, the song features a tribal percussion usually associated with Paul Epworth, alongside the soaring chorus of unresolved matters. It’s immediately familiar and utterly consuming, mainly because of Smith’s pitch perfect and devastatingly on-key vocal. Like “Things We Lost in the Fire” that follows, it lends to the dance floor without threatening a drama student meltdown of vodka jelly and smeared eyeliner.

There’s a more subtle side to Laura Palmer, too. “Get Home” and “Overjoyed” are both fragile and understated. They’re songs to accompany the comedown following Bastille’s debut single “Flaws”, and material that showcases a wealth of versatility. Though “Get Home” is an understated closer to a record that’s otherwise tense with adrenaline, it offers a resounding quiver of anticipation for what is to come.

Essentially Bastille strip away the flaws (ahem) and irregularities of underground pop to reveal something so basic and obvious, it’s strangely unique. No other band has the courage to deliver music of this quality, and no other band seems capable of recording such a consuming debut.

[Rating: 5]


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.