Make me paranoid, love me, hate me, fill the void /What you gonna do with it?
Bastille dropped an absolute banger this Thursday (June 30). As much as it was unexpected, it was sorely needed (given that I am still in quarantine). The song that also features Graham Cox from Blur, is complemented by a wonderfully wicked music video which is a perfectly crazy blend in itself and a result of the band’s collaboration with Rezza, a British Iranian animator.
“WHAT YOU GONNA DO???” is a very different song compared to the band’s previous music, but the lyrics continue the tradition of posing difficult questions and dangling on the brink of existential crisis. At its core, it retains the bastille-esque essence I have come to love.
Bastille has previously explored themes of ‘Screen addiction,” in the song “Doom Days” which had Dan Smith, the band’s frontman, singing “Think I’m addicted to my phone/my scrolling horrorshow” (lyrics that hit home a little too hard). The new song also talks about a world behind the screens, as we surrender to the takeover of technology, (at a pace only accelerated by the pandemic) and the maddening demands to our attention spans. It speaks of a reality we have become too familiar with, one that is constantly bidding for attention and holds the power to monitor and manipulate our every move as we continue our endless cycles of scrolling, clicking and tapping. As Dan perfectly puts it “Whether we’re outside or online we’re perpetually hit by so many people vying for our attention, but we’re just left rolling our eyes at how rarely it’s for anything that decent or funny.”
Shake, rattle and roll, you got control, got my attention
Make me tap and scroll, you got control, got my attention
The lyrics eerily resemble the unavoidable reality that we are walking into.
Sally’s never outside
Got a screen to hide behind
She says she’s happy on the inside
Oh god, I could have done without that in-your-face confrontation. But with the world having shifted online, this is an altogether unavoidable scenario, one that I question often only to finally resign to its inevitability. Even though the song was written before 2020 reared its ugly head, it speaks of the urgent chaos that has spilled across. And so Dan says, they felt the need to not “sit on it”. This song also marks a new beginning for the band after Doom days marked the end of a trilogy. A surprising and spontaneous era begins and Stormers don’t need to wait another three years.
“We want to put it out now and not wait for the whole album to be done before anyone starts to hear it. This is about where we are now and hearing us in real-time” — Dan Smith
Summing up, WHAT YOU GONNA DO is an electrifying song and I have had it on loop for quite a while now. Check it out at: https://youtu.be/vleS5vua5-Y