Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Dance The Pain Away With Bastille’s ‘Remind Me’

A listener might expect a song that reflects on the details of a lost relationship to be - at the very least - downbeat, despondent and inherently introspective.

On Bastille’s new track ‘Remind Me’, however, such expectations are turned on their head, in favour of three minutes of deliciously bouncy indie pop in the kind of style the group (frontman Dan Smith and multi-instrumentalists Kyle Simmons, Will Farquarson, and Chris Wood), have always done best.

Initially somewhat minimalist, with only summery guitar licks and a steady beat, accompanying Smith’s layered vocals, the backing track really comes to life as the song progresses. This is particularly apparent in the bridges, where fuzzy synthesiser stabs hint at a slight house and EDM influence. This all plays out behind lyrics that drive home the feelings of emptiness resulting from a breakup; “I try to forget you, I try to move on/To run from the memories that keep me up till dawn.” 

Later, Smith explores these memories some more, in ways that somewhat fittingly evoke impressions of past hedonism and joy; “All the places you showed me, we were dancing to your beat/I still trace our shadows across the midnight streets”. These shadows are ghosts and remnants of a bygone age, one it is impossible for Smith to shake off - the ultimate sense of his anguish is conveyed with the repeated question “Why can’t I forget to remember/I forget to remember/I forget to remember you?” This is followed by another frank admission; “You remind me of our days/They’re too good to fade away.”

‘Remind Me’ thus presents the listener with a tricky emotional situation, but they might nevertheless get the impression that by framing it within something so energetic, Bastille are very much trying to put a positive spin on things, leaving the need for a heartfelt ballad behind. And what a welcome change it is!


Mason Hawker


Image: ‘Remind Me’ Official Single Cover (PRESS)


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