An anthemic singer-pianist-songwriter with nods to electronic and percussive sounds, making music not unlike a mildly clubby Coldplay is how one reviewer summed up UK indie band Bastille.
And it is a pretty good description of the melancholic, two-year-old, four-member London outfit which started out as a solo project by singer-songwriter Dan Smith, a man with a gravity-defying haircut.
The lead vocalist, keyboardist, percussionist and producer then roped in Kyle Simmons on keyboards, percussion, bass and backing vocals; William Farquarson on bass, keyboards, acoustic guitar and backing vocals; and Chris “Woody” Wood on drums and backing vocals.
Naming themselves Bastille – Smith was born on Bastille Day, July 14 – the team released their first single, Overjoyed, in April 2012 and their second, Bad Blood, that August.
Bad Blood is also the title of their debut album, which, released last March, went straight to the top of the British chart and contained the earlier hits, as well as two more singles, the catchy Flaws – which became the group’s first Top 40 hit – and the wonderful Pompeii.
Subsequent singles have included Laura Palmer and Things We Lost in the Fire, and now the album has been reissued as a two-CD set, retitled All This Bad Blood.
It contains all the previous successes as well as a new hit, Of the Night, a fun mash-up of Rhythm of the Night by Corona and Rhythm is a Dancer by Snap!.
The band’s music may be somewhat predictable but it is different and disarming, even though it becomes a little much over a full album. In small snatches they are brilliant, though.
Also new on the shelves is a two-disc collection titled On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2, by The Beatles, which offers 37 previously unreleased performances by Liverpool’s Fab Four, as well as 23 newly available speech tracks.
Between March 1962 and June 1965, no less than 275 unique musical performances by The Beatles were broadcast by the BBC in the UK. The group played 88 different songs on national radio – some were recorded many times; others were played just once.
Ten of the songs on the new CD release were never recorded by the group for EMI in the 1960s. Two of those are now released for the first time – The Beatles’ version of the standard Beautiful Dreamer and the band’s direct-to-air performance of Chuck Berry’s I’m Talking About You.
The new collection also features BBC recordings of 30 well-loved songs from the Fab Four, including five No 1 hits.
The lively radio banter is heard throughout the album and there are also four candid interviews dating from November 1965 and May 1966.
Tracks include And I Love Her, If I Fell, Long Tall Sally, Honey Don’t, I Feel Fine, Chains, Lucille, Do You Want to Know a Secret, There’s a Place, Twist and Shout, Please Mister Postman, Hello!, Boys, I Want to Hold Your Hand, This Boy, If I Wasn’t in America and She Loves You.
Talking about greatest hits, well worth checking out is Direct Hits by The Killers, a new compilation from Universal, featuring 10 years of top tracks from the band formed in Las Vegas, in 2001, and featuring Brandon Flowers, Dave Keuning, Mark Stoermer and Ronnie Vannucci jr.
The new album features tracks from the band’s four studio albums: Hot Fuss<&eh> (2004), Sam’s Town (2006), Day & Age (2008) and Battle Born (2012), all of which have peaked at No 1 in the UK and Ireland, selling some 22 million copies.
Tracks on Direct Hits include Mr Brightside, Things That I’ve Done, Somebody Told Me, Smile Like You Mean It, All When You Were Young, Read My Mind, Human, Spaceman and Just Another Girl.