“It isn’t enough.”
These opening words on Bastille’s new album “Give Me The Future” instantly hooked me. It actually wouldn’t have taken much — I have been a fan of the group since their first album came out in 2013.
Bastille’s music has seen me through many of the highs and lows of my life: being an angsty middle schooler, a high schooler who was learning how to grow into adulthood and a college student using the upbeat melodies to stay awake while doing homework late at night.
I believe the beauty of Bastille’s music is its timelessness. Right now, I can still get into the band as easily as I could nearly 10 years ago.
“Give Me the Future” itself has a similar sound to Bastille’s previous albums. There’s a decent mix of indie pop with highlights of electronic music — a combination that I can vibe with any time. The lyrics are standard Bastille, causing the listener to consider the evocative images created and the deeper meaning of the assembled words.
As a poet, I was fascinated by the spoken word performance in “Promises,” featuring actor and rapper Riz Ahmed. While I was surprised to hear the piece included, it was a beautiful addition to “Give Me The Future.”
But something else felt different when I streamed the album for the first time last week (and several times after).
The album as a whole reflects on the losses that the world experienced throughout the pandemic and how society can recover from such a heartbreaking time.
Essentially, “Give Me The Future” questions how we should be entering into a future that remains quite uncertain — with the increase of worldwide misinformation, the corruption of world leaders and the instability of the environment.
And Bastille’s answer by the end of the album?
Not giving up on the dreams that one might have had before the pandemic. Because “it isn’t enough” to just accept a future with no promise for something better.
Even the title “Give Me The Future” insists that the listener design the future that they want for themselves, and this message remains consistent throughout the album.
Using the limitless possibilities of imagery, combined with some elements of science fiction and a dystopian universe, the album succeeds in driving the listener into a vividly crafted future — one that might be better than the one we have now.
I know that I’m just one of many people who wants to move past the pandemic. I dream of a time I will feel safe enough to go to a stadium tour to hear “Give Me the Future” in person. I want the safety and comfort I never fully appreciated before COVID-19.
And one day I will get it back, but there will always be something holding me back as I grow older.
I won’t have the money to travel. I won’t have the time to write the book I’ve always wanted to publish. I won’t have the privilege to meet the people I look up to.
I will always be able to make excuses for myself and they will pile up. But if “Give Me the Future” has taught me anything, it’s that I should always seek out the opportunities I have dreamt for myself because no dreams are too small, especially after a time of hopelessness.
I just have to realize that there’s a brighter future that I might not always see.
Album: “Give Me The Future”
Label: EMI Records
Favorite tracks: “No More Bad Days,” “Back to the Future,” “Stay Awake?”
If you like: WALK THE MOON, Neon Trees, The Mowgli's
Shamrocks: 4.5 out of 5