So don't make promises to me that you're gonna break
We only ever wanted one thing from this
Don't paint wonderful lies on me that wash away – “Another Place” featuring Alessia Cara
The extended edition of Bastille’s latest album is long. And based on the subtitle, the band knows it. This mixture of originals, covers, demos, and B-sides is a project full of treasure for any Bastille fan or music-lover. It will just take some time and digging to find the lasting gems.
This extended release begins with the 11 tracks found on the original album. Doom Days was meant to be a concept album that followed a group of friends at a party over the course of the night. The scene begins at “Quarter Past Midnight,” and feelings and actions are recorded at various points, including “Bad Decisions,” “Doom Days,” “Nocturnal Creatures,” and “4 AM.” The original album ends on a high note musically and lyrically with the song “Joy.”
The final half of the album consists of an eclectic mix of tracks that revisit the album or were unused B-sides and demos. Bastille partners with The Chamber Orchestra of London to create two symphonic versions of “Another Place” and “Million Pieces.” And the Contemporary Orchestra of London joins Bastille on an REO Speedwagon cover of “Can’t Fight This Feeling.” The mixture of commerce and art is evident as this song is an integral part of a John Lewis advertising campaign for the 2019 Christmas season.
There are two tracks that stand out on the latter half of this extended album. “Easy Days” is a demo featuring an acoustic guitar and lead vocalist Dan Smith. While it still includes Bastille’s signature harmonies and a tiny bit of production, the song feels quite organic and intimate. This demo highlights the song-writing talent of Bastille that sometimes is missed amid the layers of production.
The second track that stands above the rest is a version of the song “Another Place” featuring Alessia Cara. Dan Smith said he always envisioned this song as a duet and he couldn’t have picked a better singing partner. Alessia Cara’s voice fits beautifully into this melancholic lament of a temporary physical relationship without any hope of lasting love.
Bastille bravely swims against the current in the age where the single is king. Doom Days (This Got Out of Hand Edition) challenges listeners to immerse themselves in the music of Bastille for an extended period of time. While casual fans might find this album confusing and eclectic, others might enjoy the experience of hearing different conceptualizations of songs as well as a glimpse of songs Bastille would never normally make public. (Virgin Records)