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Album Review
Bastille - Haunt EP Album Cover

Bastille - Haunt EP

Reviewed by
9.0
Bastille - Haunt EP
Record Label: Virgin Records
Release Date: May 28, 2013
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
Depending on your geographical positioning, Bastille may or may not be a new name to you. London's Bastille, originally the solo project of the supremely stylish Dan Smith before expanding to its current form, have recently seen fame and fortune across Europe and UK. Mainly due to the stadium and club slaying, super anthem "Pompeii", Bastille have already carved a gigantic niche for themselves in the British mainstream. Now, it's time for the foursome to set their sights on the US and their first assault is manifested through the four track long Haunt EP. Prepare yourself synths, soaring choruses and good times and you're halfway there to enjoying Bastille's interesting brand of pop music.

The most striking thing about Bastille's music is the weird feeling that this is what pop music is meant to sound like. Whilst Bastille aren't completely separate from the rave beats and dubstep bloops that recent mainstream music seems to have become fixated on, they manage to utilise dance music in a way that is pleasant and listenable, without ever becoming obnoxious or boring. The beats on here aren't for 'grinding' or 'getting down', they're complementary to the organic instrumentation that surrounds them and Smith's tender vocal performance. This not only establishes Bastille as likeable and highly listenable, it also sets them away from the rest of the crowd.

The four tracks on the Haunt EP speak for themselves. Rather than hold back on the big guns, the EP opens with the superb "Pompeii". Quite possibly the most memorable single so far this year, the track is sublime. The seering choruses, repetitive gang vocals, epic feeling instrumentation and simple lyricism blend together to make the track special. Smith's vocals are wonderful - 3 parts delicate indie boy, 1 part popstar - he never once misses a note or does anything that isn't entirely complementary to the rest of the music. The second track "Overjoyed" is a little more downbeat. Driven by piano and glitchy beats, it's a vague but pretty song which is a perfect juxtaposition for the overpowering opener.

"Bad Blood" is a little more experimental than the rest of the EP. Somehow happy and slow-paced simultaneously, the lyrics are perfect for singing along to and the vibe is so chilled out that it’s hard to not just let the EP wash over you. Closer “Haunt” is perfect. Slow like its predecessor, the layered vocals and subtle beats are highly attractive and the lyrics are dark as hell. The highlight on a truly wonderful EP, “Haunt” is the sound of synth-pop done completely correctly. With a closer like that, it’s impossible to not want even more from Bastille.

Overall, Haunt EP is a wonderful introduction for Bastille to the American market. There's not a single track that's anything less than excellent and Bastille are truly unique amongst their peers. Here's hoping Bastille become a staple of mainstream music. Finally, a pop band that is most certainly not a guilty pleasure.

Recommended If You LikeThe 1975; Everything Everything; Tom Odell with synths; Britishness!

Additional InformationTrack Listing
1. Pompeii
2. Overjoyed
3. Bad Blood
4. Haunt (Demo)

9/10

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Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 15
07:46 AM on 07/02/13
#2
Keagan Ilvonen
@KeaganIlvonen
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EP is awesome. Great job Kelly.
07:48 AM on 07/02/13
#3
XenoAbe
Cowboy monkey riding border collies
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Found this a couple weeks ago and fell in love. Looking forward to a full length.
08:17 AM on 07/02/13
#4
thechetearly
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Found this a couple weeks ago and fell in love. Looking forward to a full length.
The full length is actually out just only available in the UK--but you can order it from their store--it is absolutely phenomenal.
12:12 PM on 07/02/13
#5
TylerHartman
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Going to see them at a 200 capacity venue in Portland on my birthday...words cannot express how perfect this EP and the "Bad Blood" album are. The greatest pop album I've heard in years.
12:20 PM on 07/02/13
#6
smowashere
I am Groot.
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Bastille, The 1975, and Everything Everything are the three bands I really want to see blow up in America. (Mostly because I want to see them live so bad!)
02:01 PM on 07/02/13
#7
Gaugzilla
and one head can never die
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Bastille, The 1975, and Everything Everything are the three bands I really want to see blow up in America. (Mostly because I want to see them live so bad!)
Wouldn't be surprised if that happens to at least 2 out of 3 of those bands.
02:13 PM on 07/02/13
#8
luvsickcatalyst
wander eyes, ocean high.
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Easily one of the best pop/rock groups I found while I was in England. Such an incredible live show too...wouldn't mind it at all if they got big over here. Anyone know if the Bad Blood LP is coming out over here any time soon?
05:23 PM on 07/02/13
#9
justballz
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Easily one of the best pop/rock groups I found while I was in England. Such an incredible live show too...wouldn't mind it at all if they got big over here. Anyone know if the Bad Blood LP is coming out over here any time soon?

I wanna say it was on rdio/itunes for like a week then disaappeared.

Btw that cover of city highs song is absolutely brilliant how he spun it. Looking forward to a British Invasion this fall (Bastille, 1975, ben Howard)
07:31 PM on 07/02/13
CheckeredFloors
nah
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Band's big in Australia too off the back off Pompeii.


Horrible song. Can't stand it.
08:46 PM on 07/02/13
luvsickcatalyst
wander eyes, ocean high.
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Band's big in Australia too off the back off Pompeii.


Horrible song. Can't stand it.
I'm never one to shit on an opinion, but I almost can't see how someone couldn't stand this song. Then again, Australia tends to have far more diverse music on the radio with Triple J than the US could ever hope to have, so I dunno.

I wanna say it was on rdio/itunes for like a week then disaappeared.

Btw that cover of city highs song is absolutely brilliant how he spun it. Looking forward to a British Invasion this fall (Bastille, 1975, ben Howard)

The whole Other People Heartaches mixtape was really unique for a pop group, definitely liked that. 1975 should break big or I will just give up on radio in America, same with Bastille, and isn't Ben Howard slightly known here already? I just got off the plane a few weeks back; I'm still adjusting to what's popular/not.
08:06 PM on 07/03/13
CheckeredFloors
nah
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I'm never one to shit on an opinion, but I almost can't see how someone couldn't stand this song. Then again, Australia tends to have far more diverse music on the radio with Triple J than the US could ever hope to have, so I dunno.


The whole Other People Heartaches mixtape was really unique for a pop group, definitely liked that. 1975 should break big or I will just give up on radio in America, same with Bastille, and isn't Ben Howard slightly known here already? I just got off the plane a few weeks back; I'm still adjusting to what's popular/not.

The ayos in the background seem so forced and they just don't work. Plus it's ridiculously overplayed which doesn't help.
08:38 PM on 07/03/13
luvsickcatalyst
wander eyes, ocean high.
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The ayos in the background seem so forced and they just don't work. Plus it's ridiculously overplayed which doesn't help.
Again, Australia >>>>>>> America in terms of popular radio. This'll probably be a hit in early Fall way after UK/world stations stop playing it and when Americans stop wondering who this "Bastille British hipster shit"...even then, they'll only accept it because it'll be all over their Top 40 stations.
08:55 PM on 07/08/13
scotchkoreanguy
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I must say, that he released a full length album in the U.K. only called Bad Blood, and I've, through YouTube, listened to it. I personally think that overall it's not that great. But the songs on this EP are good, as well as this one song on Bad Blood, called Flaws. Particularly an acoustic version with strings that was recorded at Abbey Road that is an absolutely beautiful rendition. Check it out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzRBoZb3GKw

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