The faceless ‘face’ of dance music, Marshmello, has dropped yet another unexpected but welcome collaboration. This time he’s taken a band known for being genreless, Bastille but who find themselves labelled as pop, indie and rock, however in ‘Happier’, he’s managed to keep that Bastille charm, yet transform their sound just a little bit.
Marshmello is coming off the back of a slew of massive collabs with Logic, Khalid, Anne Marie and Selena Gomez, as well as his latest studio album Joytime II topping the Billboard charts. Bastille are gearing up to the Q4 release of their third album Doom Days, as well as the fourth mixtape in their Other People’s Heartache series and are seemingly continuing with their mysterious Annie Oakley Hanging project with To Kill a King, but they’ve still managed to squeeze in the time for an EDM-esque collaboration.
The track itself is a bit of a banger, it’s for sure one you can imagine hearing in clubs up and down the country. It’s out just in time for fresher’s week for you to cry into a bottle of rosè in front of people you met two days ago about how you left your A Level love to move across the country. It’s just as depressing as the rest of Bastille’s discography, despite the seemingly cheerful title.
‘Happier’ is rather infectious and catchy for a song that is massively depressing, it’s like Bastille’s ‘Pompeii’ but instead of a track about dying in an Earth-shaking volcanic eruption, it’s a track about leaving someone you love, knowing that it’s the right decision in the long run but a horrific one at the moment. Steve Mac and Dan Smith, Bastille frontman, have written a track which paints quite the image with a rather limited amount of words. However, it does leave a lot up to us as the listener, it may not necessarily be about a breakup track, and the genderless narrative is one I’d like to see more songs take an approach to.
‘Happier’ jumps straight in, you’re sorta hooked in from the first beat. Smith’s vocals are on form as always, and Marshmello has crafted this track in a way that neither Smith’s vocals, nor backing, are ever overshadowed by each other, despite both being very distinctive. The backing and lyrics seemingly don’t go together, but it works, it really works. The choruses, in particular, sound incredible, and Smith’s vocals in the bridge and closing lines really cement this as a solid track from start to finish. It’s both enjoyable to listen to and rather soul-crushing, Marshmello’s gave us the full Bastille experience. On Twitter, Smith thanked Marshmello for being able to help them ‘find some joy in the melancholy’, that’s the true message of ‘Happier’.
Bastille will be touring Asia later this month, with Marshmello playing at London’s SW4 next weekend.
Words by: David Thomas