- Publish Date
- Monday, 4 May 2020, 4:15PM
From the confines of lockdown, Glass Animals have announced that their third studio album ‘Dreamland’ will be released on the 10th of July on Polydor. With the announcement comes the weighty and gorgeous title track, which is a trailer for what is to come from this truly original band.
At the heart of ‘Dreamland’ lies the quietly enigmatic Dave Bayley, the bands frontman and producer extraordinaire who’s work extends far beyond that of Glass Animals, with credits including Joey Bada$$, Flume, Wale, Khalid and most recently Denzel Curry on the late 2019 single ‘Tokyo Drifting’. For Bayley, ‘Dreamland’ is a nostalgic memoir of his life so far, covering expansive and difficult ground and holding nothing back. It’s packed full of personal experiences, none more emotional than when the bands drummer Joe Seaward was involved in a monstrous bike accident in July 2018 which threatened his life, and that of Glass Animals altogether. In Bayley’s own words -
“The idea for this album came at a time of confusion and uncertainty. My best friend was in the hospital. I didn’t know if he’d make it. The future was damn scary and completely unknown. During those weeks in the hospital, it was so difficult to look forwards that I found myself looking backwards. Digging around in my mind, pulling up old memories, finding comfort in them even if they were uncomfortable in themselves.”
Speaking to friends and family, I’ve realised that a lot of people are experiencing a similar sort of confusion now. Everything that we thought we could see clearly in front of us has been thrown into the air, and all the while, we can’t be out finding our footing. We can’t be out creating new memories, so…we’re diving back head-first into the old ones. I hear that in conversations. I see it in what people are watching on TV. In what we’re listening to. In what we’re eating. In dreams.
Bayley’s is a fascinating story – born in America to a Welsh father and Israeli mother, Dave spent the first seven years of his life in small-town Massachusetts and the next seven in Texas, before moving to the UK at the age of 14.
Bayley says, “This album goes through many of the most confusing moments in my life. It’s about growing up, from my first memories as a little kid, to now. Quite often those moments are funny, sometimes awkward, sometimes heart-breaking, sometimes it’s about love or hate, sexuality. It’s about realising its ok to not have answers and its ok to not know how you feel about things and that its ok to be and look vulnerable. In fact, all of that is quite exciting. So often life asks us for binary yes or no answers. It asks us to conform and to fit in. But the world is so much more interesting and colourful than that…it’s a much more fluid and uncertain place.”
Thankfully, Seaward learned to walk, talk, and (eventually) drum again, and earlier this year, against all odds, Glass Animals returned in full lineup (albeit briefly) to the road to play some of the venues they played when they first started out as a band. The aim – to celebrate with the fans what they have built, what they have and what they very nearly lost (as well as test out some of the new record). With all touring plans currently on hold, Glass Animals' objectives remain very much the same. In extraordinarily unique ways, the band are using the current situation to connect, create and celebrate with their fans across the globe. Bayley continues,
“I spent weeks devastated that our big plans to bring this album to you in real life on a stage were shattered…but, somehow, in all the uncertainty and before all the unknowns…right now seems like the most insane, but also the most apt time to reveal this record. growing up is a strange time, the hospital was a strange time, and here we are in a strange time again.”
In that case, strange times seem to suit the new era of Glass Animals and their new ‘Dreamland’ narrative. From his home studio, Dave has been performing covers and sharing them online which have proved incredibly popular. The band have also recently released an entirely unique Open Source website where they have shared a special set of audio stems, samples, layered artwork, 3D files, and various other materials which fans can use build their own music, Instagram lenses, animated videos, illustrations and beyond and share them with the band and each other. On Saturday they will air their own Dreamland TV Network - 4 hours of prime Glass Animals viewing, using the band’s Instagram as your remote to surf through hours of unseen footage across the 7 different TV channels.
Most pressingly however is the new music and today, Glass Animals have shared the title track from ‘Dreamland’ and its utterly unique, self-made video that Dave (and a small remote creative team) have conjured up to introduce the new album. Using handwritten instructions, set in Dave’s own home and filmed entirely via ZOOM, it’s an absurd but strangely comforting dreamlike trip that pays tribute to the track (and the album) perfectly.
It follows in the footsteps of ‘Your Love (Déjà Vu)’, the first track the band shared earlier this year which has been met with unanimous praise from fans and critics alike. Have already received a wealth of support at Radio 1, Spotify, Apple, ‘Your Love (Déjà Vu)’ continues to build support in the US, currently sitting at 20 at Triple A and #13 at Alternative Radio. Bayley concludes,
“So…here is the first track. Each line asks a question that’s explored in a later song. It’s not a banging single (the next one we’ll drop slaps!) but the words here could be considered a table of contents for the album as a whole. A little peek into what’s coming. I put every ounce of my soul into this album. It’s the most ambitious and challenging thing we’ve done by a distance. The album is called Dreamland, and I can’t wait for you all to hear it. Love, Dave x”