NME Song Stories: Bastille’s Dan Smith Reveals How He Wrote ‘Good Grief’

“I wanted to write about how bizarre grief and loss are, either literally because someone’s died, or through the loss of a relationship,” says Bastille frontman Dan Smith of recent single ‘Good Grief’, in our exclusie Song Story video.

Smith wanted the song to encapsulate, “the stages of denial, shock, depression and complete euphoria” that come with feelings of grief, and the alien feeling of being at a funeral. “It could be a massive celebration of someone, or hugely sad. There could be moments of euphoria and people getting pissed and collapsing on the floor.” As Smith explains, grief is a “complicated reality”.

It is right, then, that the ‘Good Grief’ visuals should reflect that reality. The music video was shot in Madrid by the Spanish creative agency NYSU. Featuring nine separate stories, the aim of the video was to make something “visually engaging and confusing, a bit like the song, a bit like that feeling”.

Appearances by the band in artwork and visuals are rare, but in the accompanying video to ‘Good Grief’, Dan appears as a disembodied head. Smith liked the reference image it came from because, “To me, it wasn’t a violent image. It was surreal.” It’s also, Dan argues, “a comment on how little I want to be there”.

Following this summer’s festival season, Bastille will embark on their first UK arena tour. The new album, ‘Wild World’, is released September 9. Get everything you need to know about Bastille’s upcoming album here.

Words: Joanne Ford & Helen Thomas