One could argue, we’re already living a dystopian fantasy. Deep in reflection, as we all were over the last year, singer-songwriter Dan Smith took it one step further to write a song imagining where society is headed next. With Bastille’s new song “Distorted Light Beam,” co-written and co-produced with Ryan Tedder, Smith invites the listener into a metaphorical time machine, whooshing across the universe to another time, place, and perhaps even alternate reality.
It isn’t enough to start a riot / Distort the light beam until I like me, he sings in almost a detached, robotic voice. It isn’t enough, if this is real life / I’ll stick to dreaming, come see what I see.
“For us, ‘Distorted Light Beam’ soundtracks dancing through some twisted, euphoric, futuristic club space,” Smith says in a press statement. “It’s a song about limitless possibilities—which isn’t something any of us actually have in real life right now, so it’s been fun to explore that idea while experimenting with new sounds in our music.”
Leveling up, delete my history / Choose how you see me and the future’s easier, he continues with the second stanza. Leveling up, in here, I’m winning / Defeat the big boss, game over, your loss.
The accompanying visual (above), directed by Jak Payne, stars Save Me actor Remmie Milner and depicts exactly the kind of future Smith has envisioned, lyrically. When I’m dreaming tonight I can do anything / When I’m dreaming tonight I can go anywhere, he pleads on the chorus. When I’m dreaming tonight I can be anyone / So don’t wake me up, don’t wake me up.
“Distorted Light Beam” follows “DRINK.” from earlier this year, both releases on the heels of last year’s Goosebumps EP. Looking back, the five-song epic clearly hinted to their genre-busting ways moving ahead, as Smith teased, “[The EP] shows a real range of what we’ve been up to this year and a tiny preview of a lot of other things. It’s been a real life line for us this year.”
On August 23, Bastille will perform on Good Morning America as part of the morning show’s summer concert series.