Poppy British arena-rockers Bastille became worldwide stars with 2014’s “Pompeii,” which got them on SNL, top 40 radio, and a bunch of festival lineups. After a few years out of the mainstream spotlight, they had their biggest American hit ever with last year’s Marshmello collaboration “Happier,” which climbed all the way to #2 on the Hot 100. And today at the BBC’s famed, soon-to-close Madia Vale Studios, they covered another American #2 hit.
That song is “Bad Guy,” the biggest single on the second most statistically popular album of 2019, Billie Eilish’s WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? “Bad Guy” — one of six songs that have peaked at #2 behind Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Old Town Road” — presents a dark, minimal, genre-defiant sound that many have identified as a sea change in pop music. Bastille’s version of the song trades out the future for the past.
Dan Smith and his crew have turned Eilish’s song into a soul retro rock tune with surf and gospel accents. And they’ve worked in bits of the late Dick Dale’s “Misirlou,” Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood,” and their own “Bad Decisions.” It’s quite different! If you’d like to see how this plays out, you can do that below.
Bastille’s new album Doom Days just debuted at #5 on the Billboard 200.