Have you listened to the new Bastille and Alessia Cara single Another Place yet? The band that previously discussed historical events, classic mythology, and world politics in an original, intelligent way, now guides our attention to… a one night stand! 

Considering the themes mentioned before, this might seem like a surprising choice in subject matter, though Bastille wouldn’t be Bastille if they hadn’t thought it through completely. Another Place plays a part in the story they tell on their most recent album Doom Days. In this album, they take you on a wild night out, and by doing so, they try to escape this crazy world we live in.

Would you like to know what happens during this night? And do you want to know what’s on their mind during this one-night stand? I laid out a linear timeline of the songs to get to the bottom of the lyrics…

Doom Days’ message

In June earlier this year, Bastille released their third studio album, Doom Days. Whoever is familiar with the work of the British band won’t be surprised that there’s a clear message behind this album.

When I interviewed Dan Smith and Kyle Simmons, the frontman explained it in this way:

Dan: “We’ve been calling it an apocalyptic party album. It’s essentially the story of one night starting at 23:45 and ending in waking up the next morning on the kitchen floor. It’s about everything that happens in the midst of that.

It’s about looking for escapism. About losing yourself in the night, in the music, in friends, and in other, old and new, people as a distraction from your life. And this slightly confusing, bizarre time that we seem to all be living in.

It’s a quite personal, intimate story but it uses that kind of normality and reality to look at and talk about wider subjects. We wanted it to be relevant and topical, but also fun.”

The timeline of Bastille’s night out

The songs on Doom Days can be seen as a sort of arc. When putting them in a chronological timeline, you can get a sense of what the guys – both rational as well as emotional – are going through. I’ve selected the lyrics that are the most meaningful to me in every song.

00.15   Quarter Past Midnight

It’s a quarter past midnight
Still avoiding tomorrow

00.48   Bad Decisions

Take a bow for the bad decisions that we made

01:22   The Waves

Is it an apocalypse or nihilism on your lips?
We sink or swim
(We’re riding the wave)

02:05   Divide

Why would we divide when we could come together?

02:39   Million Pieces

If it’s gonna break me
Won’t you let me go?
Leave it till the morning
I don’t wanna know

03:07   Doom Days

When I watch the world burn
All I think about is you

03:28   Nocturnal Creatures

We’re nocturnal creatures, we own the night

04:00   4AM 

Four in the morning, we find ourselves here
The best of us passed out, I don’t know who’s where
I got all my old friends and new friends I’ve met once before
In a blanket of smoke as we sink through the floor

04:52   Another Place

I’m lost but found with you in a bed that we’ll never make

05:46   Those Nights

To be there at dawn, to wake with, ‘cause aren’t we all just
Looking for a little bit of hope these days?

08:34   Joy

As the night dissolves into this final frame
You’re a sweet relief, you saved me from my brain

The lyrics in Another Place undressed

Let’s zoom in on the lyrics in Another Place. As you can read in the timeline above, it’s 4:52 in the morning when this song takes place. The protagonist has found himself in bed with someone and is wondering what this could mean exactly:

[Couplet 1: Dan Smith]
I am bound to you with a tie that we cannot break
With a night that we can’t replace
I’m lost but found with you in a bed that we’ll never make
It’s a feeling we always chase

This night plays into his emotions, even though he knows that it’s not ‘real’.

[Pre-Chorus: Dan Smith]
I could write a book about the things that you said to me on the pillow
And the way you think and how you make me feel
You can fill my mind and move my body with the fiction, fantasies
Just call this what it is, we don’t pretend it’s real

And they don’t have to fool each other by saying that it is more than a casual hook-up:

[Chorus: Dan Smith]
So don’t make promises to me that you’re gonna break
We only ever wanted one thing from this

Don’t paint wonderful lies on me that wash away
We only ever wanted one thing from this 

Though if the situation would have been different…

Oh, in another place
In another time, what could we have been?
Oh, in another place
In another time, what could we have been?

On the album version of Another Place, Dan asks his companion to join him in the pretense that this is what they need. ‘So lie to me tonight and pretend till the morning light/And imagine that you are mine’.

However, in the newly released single version, Alessia Cara transforms the song into a duet. Dan’s lyrics have been replaced with her point of view:

[Couplet 2: Alessia Cara]
I hate that you know
You can make me feel so small
Can’t stop myself from falling back into you
We get so close then you pull yourself away
Maybe we just need a saving
Come save me

The pre-chorus is sung by Alessia, after which they sing the chorus together. Taking turns in the bridge, they sing:

It felt like something special but it never felt like love
Wonder what we could be living in another life
Catch us in the mirror and it looks a lot like love
Then you stop me talking as you kiss me from above
Another Place – Bastille feat. Alessia Cara

After reading these last lines, you might expect that this one night stand was being seriously overthought, but think again! When you listen closely to the next track Those Nights, you can hear that this was only the beginning…

Continue Reading

Do you want to read my full interview with Dan and Kyle? Read it here! How about reading about the meaning in their previous songs? You can find it in What is Bastille’s music really about?

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– Another place is written by Daniel Campbell Smith / Daniel Robin Priddy / Mark Blair Crew © Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, 2019