Bastille’s Dan Smith performs unreleased song in the Bermuda Triangle

Bastille’s frontman Dan Smith has recorded a live performance of an unreleased song called Blue Sky & the Painter from onboard a Greenpeace ship in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.


  • Watch the performance by Dan Smith of Bastille here 
  • Behind the scenes footage and photos of Dan Smith on board the Arctic Sunrise are available in the Greenpeace Media Library

Sargasso Sea, High Seas, Thursday 6 June 2024 – Bastille’s frontman Dan Smith has recorded a live performance of an unreleased song called Blue Sky & the Painter from onboard a Greenpeace ship in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The area is famous as the home of the Bermuda Triangle – where ships and planes have supposedly disappeared without a trace. 

The singer, who wrote hits such as Pompeii and Happier, and recently worked with Hans Zimmer on the Planet Earth III score, joined a voyage with Greenpeace UK on the ship the Arctic Sunrise to learn more about the importance of ocean protection.[1] The location in the Sargasso Sea was chosen because scientists have long recognised it as an area rich in marine life that needs greater protection from industrial fishing, shipping and other threats.[2] 

The video shows Dan Smith sitting on the prow of the iconic Greenpeace ship playing an acoustic guitar as the sun sinks into the deep blue water of the ocean all around him. Blue Sky & the Painter is a preview of a new song by Dan Smith of Bastille[3]. The accompanying video is available to watch here.

Dan Smith said: “The song is about Edvard Munch finally seeing a crack of light in life after a long period of darkness, and it felt like a theme that resonated with this particular opportunity that we now have to protect these vast blue spaces that we all depend on. I was invited onto this iconic ship to learn and help out, but when we found ourselves in unusually calm water within the Bermuda Triangle, 240 nautical miles away from the nearest land, it just felt like an ideal opportunity to collaborate with the crew on capturing this song.”

Dan spent three busy days onboard the Arctic Sunrise taking part in scientific research, helping to spot humpback whales, and deploying an underwater microphone to pick up the sounds of whales, dolphins and other sea creatures. He also assisted with taking seawater samples from 30m below the surface to test for the DNA traces of marine animals, and took part in a beach clean on Cooper’s Island in Bermuda.

Dan supported the launch of an open letter to the next UK government calling on them to lock into law the Global Ocean Treaty that world governments agreed at the UN last year, and to propose the Sargasso Sea as the first ocean sanctuary under that Treaty.[4] The landmark agreement is the only way to protect at least 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030 – the minimum that scientists agree will allow the oceans to recover after centuries of neglect. 

Smith added: “Like so many of us, I’m really worried about climate change and massively keen to know how I can be useful. It’s been so interesting to learn that the oceans are one of our best defences against climate change, and I wanted to bring people along on this amazing adventure that I’ve been lucky enough to be part of. Anyone and everyone can sign Greenpeace’s open letter to the next government, which calls on them to take the Global Ocean Treaty through our Parliament and commit it into law by the end of this year. It’s something positive that can easily happen, and will genuinely have a positive impact. It’ll only take a minute to help by signing this letter, which I think is brilliant for people who are looking for ways to be proactive.”

The Sargasso Sea supports a plethora of iconic wildlife including humpback whales, dolphins and sharks. Its floating mats of golden sargassum seaweed provide a nursery for baby sea turtles and a haven for seabirds and endangered European eels on their epic migrations across the Atlantic. But it also faces many threats – from industrial fishing to climate change and the prospect of deep sea mining. 

Fiona Nicholls, an Oceans Campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said: “Dan performed this song of hope and resilience amid the bright blue waters of the Sargasso Sea – waters that are being heated by a changing climate and depleted by industrial fishing. His performance sums up our optimism that protecting our blue planet is possible with the help of the Global Ocean Treaty. This historic agreement was years in the making – before the end of this year our incoming government needs to sign it into UK law to kickstart ocean protection on a global scale. As the song goes… it’s about damn time.”

New figures released by Greenpeace UK last month reveal the Sargasso Sea is a ‘Wild West’ for industrial fishing and shipping.[2] The volume of ships crossing the Sargasso increased by more than 30% since 2018 to over 7,000 vessels last year. Industrial fishing fleets spent a combined total of more than 22,000 hours operating in the sea, mainly dragging longlines that are associated with high levels of bycatch of marine mammals, turtles, seabirds and sharks. 

Greenpeace UK is asking the public to follow Dan Smith’s lead and sign an open letter demanding that the incoming government signs the Global Ocean Treaty into UK law without delay, and champions the Sargasso Sea as the first in a new generation of ocean sanctuaries.


Dan Smith’s performance on the Arctic Sunrise can be seen here

Behind the scenes footage and photos of Dan Smith’s time onboard the Arctic Sunrise can be accessed from the Greenpeace Media library.

Contacts: To arrange an interview with a Greenpeace spokesperson, contact Greenpeace UK press officer Alex Sedgwick / +44 (0) 7973 873 155 

Notes to editors:

[1] The Arctic Sunrise was built in Norway in 1975 and operated as a seal hunting and supply vessel. Greenpeace bought and refitted the Arctic Sunrise in 1995 and the first campaign voyage went to the North Sea and the northeast Atlantic, to document marine pollution by oil from offshore platforms. In 1997, the Arctic Sunrise became the first ship to circumnavigate James Ross Island in the Antarctic. In the last two decades, the Greenpeace ship has documented the effects of climate change around the coast of Greenland, thwarted the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean, chased private vessels fishing illegally for Patagonian toothfish, and helped to assess the impacts of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. 

[2] A Greenpeace UK media briefing about threats facing the Sargasso Sea is available

[3] Bastille are Dan Smith, Will Farquarson, Kyle Simmons and Chris “Woody” Wood. The band has 24,750,389 million monthly Spotify listeners. They bagged their third UK No.1 album in 2022 with Give Me The Future. Their debut album Bad Blood has sales to date of 1,083,444 (Official Charts Company), including 26,661 sales last year. Bastille have amassed more than 9 billion streams across all partners since breaking through 13 years ago, including 3.5 billion streams globally for the single Pompeii. The group has more than 383 million streams in the UK alone. Pompeii remains in the Top 50 most streamed songs of all time in the UK, with UK sales of 3,769,198.

[4] The open letter, which has already been signed by nearly 10,000 people across the UK, is available online: 

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