About Glass Animals
According to legend, Glass Animals chose their name by picking two words out of the dictionary at random—but you couldn’t come up with a better combination for a group that toes the line between the pristine and primal. On their 2014 debut, Zaba, the Oxford quartet aligned themselves with a storied lineage of abstract alt-rock—the moody atmospheres of Radiohead, the tropical textures of Animal Collective—but in Dave Bayley, Glass Animals possess an uncommonly smooth singer who could mold those left-field influences into sultry, R&B-flavored pop songs. While the album made them indie darlings, it also earned the group admirers beyond the typical NME reader—the 2015 single “Lose Control” saw them team up with Brooklyn MC Joey Bada$$ for a trippy rap track. That sense of anything-goes openness fully flourished on 2016’s How to Be a Human Being, whose procession of freaky, funky anthems and synth-smeared slow jams earned Glass Animals their first Mercury Prize nomination. But after drummer Joe Seaward was nearly killed in a 2018 cycling accident, Glass Animals dialed down the eccentricity for 2020’s Dreamland, a more intimate record that further harmonized the art-rock/club-pop dialectic at the heart of their music. Speaking about the single “Your Love (Déjà Vu)” to Apple Music, Hayley said, “The idea was to take my favorite ‘90s producers like Timbaland and The Neptunes and the way they used samples, yet record a lot of those sounds in the way The Beatles or Beach Boys might’ve done it... and then taking Beatles and Beach Boys sounds and resampling them as [those producers] might’ve done.” That Dreamland cracked the Top 10 in both the UK and US is a testament to Glass Animals’ gift for melding different styles and eras into the sound of now.