Quarter Past Midnight

Album: Doom Days (2018)
Charted: 65
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Songfacts®:

  • The first track to be released from Bastille's third album is an epic upbeat tune that introduces the new record. Frontman Dan Smith told NME:

    "It's the first single from our new album and it's kind of like an opening scene-setter. It's about escapism, when you want the night to keep going and try to lose yourself in it for whatever reason. We wanted to capture that feeling and have it sound a bit raucous and messy and euphoric."
  • After the slightly downbeat tenor of Bastille's sophomore album Wild World, "Quarter Last Midnight" adopts a more positive viewpoint. "It's just about trying to capture that Sliding Doors moment on a night out", said Dan Smith. "Some people are gonna go home; for some this is just the beginning. It became about being in someone's car, driving through the city, and I wanted to try and capture that sense of excitement, and that rush."

    As to why the song is set at night, Smith added: "It's way easier to escape in the night time. Places that aren't normally open are open to the world, and the places that you associate with reality and work are all shut down. There's a parallel universe that exists, and this other set of people who are out and about."
  • Dan Smith told The Independent about "Quarter Past Midnight."

    "I wanted to capture that moment in a night and the chaos of the city, that time in the evening and everything you see around you, that slightly nihilistic determination to throw yourself head-first into whatever's going to happen…" he said, before adding, "and it was really fun to make."
  • The song, like the rest of the album, came from Dan Smith's real-life personal experiences. He told The Independent: "I wanted to essentially make a nighttime record that involved those 'party' moments but not remotely in a slick, modern way. I wanted it to be warm and nostalgic. The references to going out and staying out come from real experience."

    Smith added smiling: "My life isn't this champagne-popping, celebrity thing, I've never experienced that really."
  • The song's music video was shot in Paris and directed by Austin Peters, who has previously worked with the band on their visuals for "Flaws," "Laura Palmer" and "Oblivion." The clip sees Dan Smith's luscious locks shaved off during a wild night out.

    "It's is a nod towards some of our favorite films and directors," said Smith. "The album as a whole, it's a surreal journey through euphoric highs and lows of a night, and all that comes with it: the escapism, warped realities, and unclear memories."

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