Beautiful. The only word that surfaced in my mind as tears welled up in my eyes at the close of The Head and the Heart’s self-titled debut album, which I left spinning in my car’s stereo for many months of my senior year of high school.
Four months ago, when the music video for “We Can’t Stop” was uploaded to YouTube, the newest iteration of Miley Cyrus was presented to the world—and it was weird. On Tuesday, this changed version of the pop star we all knew and loved released Bangerz, and like the new version of Cyrus, it’s weird.
Bastille’s major label debut begins in epic fashion: with raucous, layered choral harmonies. The first track, “Pompeii,” which has gained prominence in the British music scene, introduces us to themes that recur throughout the twelve track record and the musical mind of Dan Smith. Together, the songs weave a story of the grand and ancient Roman city while simultaneously injecting a palpable feeling of inferiority: “But if you close your eyes/does it almost feel like/nothing changed at all?”