While Bad Blood sounds lush, it was actually recorded in a tiny room on limited equipment – apart from a day spent recording strings in the legendary Abbey Road Studios. Dan Smith, working with producer Mark Crew, aimed to approach each song differently.
“I wanted each to be its own story with its own atmosphere which brings in different sounds and elements of production, incorporating aspects of the different genres and styles that I love: hip hop, indie, pop and folk,” he explains. “Film soundtracks can be broad and varied, but tied together by the film itself. I hope the album will be something like that, but held together by my voice and the songwriting, each song a scene or part of a bigger picture.”
“Pompeii” is an epic in miniature, a conversation between two charred bodies, frozen in time, caught in the ash that engulfed the Roman city of sin while songs like the title track and “Things We Lost in Fire” touch on the changing dynamics of relationships. “‘Bad Blood’ is an album crafted in one of modern pop’s greatest refineries,” observed Artrocker, awarding it five stars, while BBC Music said, “Bastille really deliver.” Q named “Overjoyed” as “Track of the Day,” noting, “[Bastille’s] bewitching mixture of softly delivered vocals and glitchy tracks creates an impressive atmosphere.”