This week's artist of the week, is our first band to receive the honor of #HERArtistoftheWeek Bastille, is the latest #HERArtistoftheWeek. The first band to win such an honor, however it is not surprising given Dan Smith's start as a singer/songwriter. The British band broke through the American charts with their historically referenced song Pompeii.
Dan Smith, the lead singer and songwriter for Bastille, is your ordinary shy guy. Who like many singer/songwriters started writing songs in his teens in his room. He says "I wrote songs very much for myself and thought it was really embarrassing. None of my friends ever knew. My family knew because they overheard it coming out of my room – these weird warbling noise."
It wasn't until his last year in college that a friend stumbled upon him producing music from his room and was impressed enough to enter him for a local competition for which the prize was studio recording time and performing a gig. He won, and a career was born. “I didn't tell anyone and I ended up winning it, which forced me to do a gig for the first time which was quite traumatic”, he recalls.
Dan however, unlike most singer/songwriters, his song's are not autobiographical. Stating “I'm not interested in writing overtly autobiographical songs. I would rather explore interesting stories. I like the idea of the songs being evocative and distinctive, so I have in my mind the atmosphere that a film could evoke." Although the songs are not autobiographical, his work does portray positive messages, and I think that speaks to his character as a person. Someone who doesn't respect women is not going to write a song like Overjoyed, which through the music video we learn is about a young girl who becomes a prostitute.
Of all the Artist's of the Week, Bastille is the one I am the most familiar with, frankly they are my favorite band, as such I know every one of their songs, all of which I love. However they are not all pertinent to Equality for HER, however those that are not per say pertinent do not in any way send bad messages. The song's I believe to be the most relevant, and the reason for which Bastille garners the title of a HER Artist of the Week, are Flaws, bad_news, Laughter Lines, and The Weight of Living I, however I encourage you to listen to all of Bastille's songs.
Flaws, whose chorus repeats,
You have always worn your flaws upon your sleeve/And I have always buried them deep beneath the ground/Dig them up. Let's finish what we've started/Dig them up. So nothing's left unturned
talks about how some people share their flaws, while others hide them away, however to live life to its fullest you need to accept and understand your flaws, this point is reiterated with,
All of your flaws and all of my flaws/When they have been exhumed/We'll see that we need them to be who we are/Without them we'd be doomed
Which says once you realize and accept all of your flaws, you'll see that they are what makes you, you, and that that's what makes us human, and without them we aren't human. That our flaws are what makes us individuals, and that we need to not hide them away.
bad_news, Bastille's most recently released song, opens with,
Bad news like a sucker punch, what do you say?/Air knocked out of my lungs want you to stay/When you hear something difficult don't back away/Some people say nothing, good ones engage
In which Dan blatantly says that bad news hurts, and that although it may not be the best time for you I want you to stay with me, to help support me. That the people who truly care about you and who are the "good ones" will stay around and try to help you in whatever way they can. Which is followed up by,
Don't turn your back on me/Don't bury your head deep/Just cause you don't know what to say
That don't turn away from me, just because you don't know what to say to me, that the most important thing is to just be there for you to support you through the bad times. In other words the people who are worth while will stick with you through the good and bad times.
Laughter Lines, speaks of aging, and The Weight of Living speaks about all the difficulties of life, and asks whether you will succumb to those difficulties or whether or not you'll let them make you stronger.
The Weight of Living Part I
Check out the rest of Bastille's songs on Youtube or on Spotify.