‘Hangin’ Finds Bastille In Search of A Brand New Sound – New Track Review

They don’t let just any old band onto EA Sports’ FIFA 16 soundtrack, you know. The list of artists announced a couple of weeks back covers everyone from Beck to Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Swim Deep to Seinabo Sey, Of Monsters And Men to Disclosure, an egalitarian roll-call encompassing 15 nations. Even John Newman gets the kind of career boost he’s likely to need sooner rather than later.

It’s a decent ‘soft launch’ for new Bastille material. Dan Smith and auxiliaries have adopted a laissez-faire attitude to their ‘difficult second album’, even taking time out to release a mixtape – December’s ‘VS. (Other People’s Heartache, Pt. III)’ – that found them teaming up with unexpected collaborators, including Angel Haze and MNEK. It’s a mark of artistic ambition they might’ve abandoned in the pursuit of Brit Award-endorsed stadium dominance, and ‘Hangin” reinforces hopes Bastille will do something a bit different.

Thumped piano echoes the thunderous sonics of 2013’s ‘Bad Blood’, but tricksy Alt-J-a-like guitar suggests they’re not going to go full-Coldplay just yet (although the “oh-oh-oh” chants on the chorus are a lingering warning). It’s the reggae lopes between the big crescendos that take Bastille off the beaten path – where they’ll stumble into The Police if they’re not careful – while Smith’s jabbered threats (“Let’s start with the truth/’Cos it gets you in the end”) have a certain attention-grabbing urgency. ‘Hangin” piques the curiosity; a decent result for an inbetweener.