I have always been a big Glass Animals fan. Hailing from Oxford, United Kingdom, this psychedelic-synth-pop quartet blends influences of electronic and hip-hop into their mind-bending and genre-breaking productions. It is difficult to compare this group to other artists, and their unique sound has always been massively intriguing to me. A promo copy of their colorful 2014 debut album, ZABA, accompanied me many times working at my local record store. Their sophomore concept album, How To Be A Human Being, centers on the stories of ten individuals that the group met on the road and ends with a personal narrative on the song, “Agnes,” from the leading man, Dave Bayley. The band is currently signed to Republic Records of Universal Music Group and released “Heat Waves” on June 29, 2020, another single from highly anticipated and most autobiographical album yet, Dreamland, set to come out on August 7, 2020.
“Heat Waves” addresses the melancholy realization that sometimes you are not the best person for your partner. You cannot always make everyone happy. He confesses, “You just need a better life than this/You need somethin’ I can never give.” In true Glass Animals fashion, Bayley’s airy, layered, and sometimes distorted vocals dance over the tune. The strong, trap-influenced beats and wavy guitar keep an upbeat vibe despite the track’s theme. It feels somewhat less experimental but very much aligns with their classic, vibrant soundscapes and includes a fun and catchy chorus. It’s laid-back, head-bopping rhythms feel perfect for summer nights. These lyrics are more straightforward than some of their past works such as “Gooey,” leaving fans with a bit less to dissect, similar to another recent Dreamland single, “Your Love (Déjà Vu).” This trend might be characteristic of this new era of Glass Animals as they open up about their own personal lives.
They also shared an appropriately gloomy music video for “Heat Waves,” depicting Bayley performing to an empty amphitheater with his band mates playing on television screens as an acknowledgement of the current quarantined-state of the world and the powerful feeling of live performance that artists and music lovers are missing. It will be interesting to see how this group pushes their boundaries and enters a new, more introspective time in their art. For those looking to explore their discography, “Heat Waves” will ease you in, but be ready to embrace their eccentricities. You will not be disappointed.
Resources & Images
Aubrey, Elizabeth. “On The Cover – Glass Animals: ‘Everything That Made Me Who I Am Was Taken Away by the Accident.’” NME Music News, Reviews, Videos, Galleries, Tickets and Blogs | NME.COM, 8 May 2020, www.nme.com/big-reads/glass-animals-cover-interview-2020-dreamland-everything-that-made-me-taken-away-accident-2657661.
Diy. Animal Magnetism: Glass Animals, DIY, 24 Apr. 2020, diymag.com/2020/04/20/animal-magnetism-glass-animals-april-2020-interview.
“Glass Animals – Heat Waves.” Indie Shuffle, www.indieshuffle.com/glass-animals-heat-waves/.
Naik, Krupa. “REVIEW: I Can Feel ‘Your Love,’ Glass Animals.” Daily Trojan, 20 Feb. 2020, dailytrojan.com/2020/02/19/review-i-can-feel-your-love-glass-animals/.