On Edge: Anticipating Glass Animals’ Dreamland

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Psychedelic pop act Glass Animals are set to release their third studio album, Dreamland, on August 7th, and it’s looking like this upcoming record will be taking you on a journey throughout its run time, just as their previous works have. Based on the singles released so far, the unique four-piece are going for an electro-pop sound that is totally drenched in dazzling synths and catchy drum patterns.

Forming in Oxford in 2010 childhood friends, Dave Bayley (Vocalist), Joe Seaward (Drummer), Drew MacFarlane (Guitar) and Edmund Irwin-singer (Bass) came together to create music under the name Glass Animals. Since their formation the group have written and produced two albums that have both been received well critically, with their second effort, How To Be A Human Being, finding a spot on the Mercury Prize shortlist in 2017. Their most successful single to date is ‘Gooey’ from the 2014 album Zaba which is now certified Platinum in Australia and the US and certified gold in Canada.

Since the release of How To Be A Human Being the band was forced to take a break after Seaward was involved in a road accident in Dublin that resulted in him sustaining brain damage due to a skull fracture.

‘Tokyo Drifting’ was the first single released from Dreamland and featured American rapper, Denzel Curry. After a three-year wait, this single was a completely different vibe from anything the group had released before and caught many fans off guard. Being driven by a pulsating hip-hop beat, Bayley uses this track to show off his impressive vocal range and allows the lyrics to focus on ‘Wavey Davey’, who is the front man’s alter-ego. Rap isn’t a genre the band had delved into before, but the Denzel Curry feature on this track gives the song an injection of energy and helps to encapsulate the carefree vibe the four-piece are aiming for.  As a lead single, this track is a bit misleading for what’s to come from the next three singles but it still incorporates the exciting synths we have come to expect from the Oxford band.

‘Your Love (Déjà Vu)’ is the perfect fuse between Zaba and How To Be A Human Being, encompassing their originality and experimentation with a more commercial pop sound. Being described as sounding “like the colour purple” this bright upbeat tune is a classic Glass Animals song that will feel familiar to fans but is one that is still exciting to listen to. I am sure this track will become a strong fan favourite and I hope this is a sound that pops up throughout the new album.

The title track ‘Dreamland’ takes a softer, atmospheric approach, being both euphoric and soothing to listen to. The chorus has an unnerving edge due to the slight distortion to Bayley’s vocals, creating a contrast to the song’s title. ‘Heat Waves’ shows another side to the band’s sound whilst still keeping to the electro-pop genre the album seems to be driving towards. Sounding strikingly different from ‘Dreamland’, this rhythmic single is a very enjoyable pop song, but does seem to lack the originality that is seen in most of their work.

Based on this vast selection of singles Dreamland will be the most diverse album Glass Animals have released yet. Having a combination of their signature sound as well as pulling inspiration from other genres, this record is looking to be electro-pop heaven showing off all of the band’s strengths. Dabbling with different genres and sounds may not be to every fan’s taste, but I personally find this growth from the band to be refreshing for the most part, and I am sure the album will be a great listen.

Dreamland will be released on August 7th via Wolf Tone Records. Check out ‘Your Love (Deja Vu) now down below.

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A Second Year English student with a love for all things music

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