Now when I say performance groups, I don’t just mean boy bands—I mean bands, collaborations, and anything that involves multi-instrumentalists involved in a project. This newfangled obsession is also the reason why many alternative groups have received recent mainstream success: Imagine Dragons, New Politics, Capital Cities, and slowly but surely Walk The Moon. There’s not a day that goes by where I do not hear Radioactive/Harlem/Safe&Sound in heavy rotation on Top-40 POP radio.
We in the indie community have always embraced the band, so that phenomenon is not new to us. Successful solo artists are rare in the genre: they are few are far apart. What is now emerging in indie music is a new wave of the British Invasion. This time, it is more of a British Commonwealth Invasion, since the American music scene has become obsessed with artists from the many nations of the commonwealth. Some examples include: the continuing success of Canadians Tegan and Sara, the English band The 1975, South African group St. Lucia, Australians San Cisco and Atlas Genius, and of course New Zealander, Lorde. One of these British Commonwealth bands that is currently receiving the full recognition and hype they deserve is BΔSTILLE. The whole IndieBeat team has been raving over them all summer, ever since their Haunt EP was released here in May. I think we can officially call ourselves Stormers, the ever so clever name of the band’s fan base.
Composed of singer Dan Smith, bassist Will Farquarson, keyboardist Kyle Simmons, and drummer Chris Wood, the London band formed in 2010 out of Dan’s (or as the internet knows him, the Ted Mosby lookalike) solo project. The band got its name from Dan’s birthday, which happens to land on the french Bastille Day—hence also the name of the fan base, as in the storming of the Bastille. Clever. They have received major success in the UK, and they are currently invading the US music scene with their single, Pompeii, and their recent US release of their debut album Bad Blood. I don’t use the term invade lightly here, since they sold out their entire US tour before even playing their first show of the tour (we’re sad we couldn’t tickets). I won’t go as far as comparing them to the Beatles, but Bastille’s presence and music has me thinking that they are the closest thing alternative culture has to the British boy band obsession.