Glass Animals’ nostalgia inspired album Dreamland introspectively explores the past and the fragility of life wrapped up in their addictive psychedelic pop sound.
Glass Animals have just released their highly anticipated third album Dreamland which follows their 2016 How To Be A Human Being sophomore album. The band had big plans for 2018 with tours and festivals organised however this was cut short due to a serious incident involving their drummer Joe Seaward who was hit by a truck whilst riding his bike. Glass Animals have finally broken their 2-year hiatus with Dreamland, a symbolic album that lead singer Dave Bayley wrote during Seaward’s recovery reflecting on his life and his past telling fans on Instagram it was the “most personal, most difficult” album he has ever written.
The album opens with the band’s title track ‘Dreamland’ that is mystical and psychedelic with dancing notes that feel very Alice In Wonderland-esque. The song lives up to its name being very dreamy and ethereal with Bayley’s soulful vocals accompanying hypnotic notes and echoing elements. ‘Tangerine’ is a bubbly tune that is reflective of Bayley’s past relationships featuring boppy beats with a lively feel.
Between songs, the album also features voice grabs of Bayley as a child from home videos with his family. Although the album is marked by serious setbacks the sounds in Dreamland are vibrant and full of life making you want to bop along to every tune.
Talking about Dreamland Bayley said the album explores his past in all its glory as well as the many downfalls;
“[The 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.”
‘Tokyo Drifting’ featuring Denzel Curry has a hip hop electro-charged feel with a strong base and smooth rap verses. The reverberating synths give the song an edge of electronica with punchy beats and smooth vocals from Bayley. ‘Melon and the Coconut’ has a laid back surf-rock feel with slow guitar notes and Bayley’s warped vocals. The song is dreamy and makes your body feel light and tingly from the pure iridescence of the swirling song.
‘Your Love (Déjà vu)’ is by far the album favourite with energetic electronic energy, guitar features, and strong beats that make this song a true banger. Bayley says the song is about toxic relationships and being stuck in a rut. “This song is about that…about being addicted to chaos. It’s about wanting to float around and exist inside of that feeling because it has always been familiar to you.”
‘Waterfalls Coming Out Your Mouth’ is another tropical tune dripping in sounds of psychedelia and funk. This song talks about the early stages of relationships and how people can act differently during these connections.
‘Heat Waves’ incorporates warped vocals, boppy beats, and bright ecstatic pop energy. The band have said the song is an ode to “live music and the culture and togetherness surrounding it.” This fun bop is the perfect tune to get you vibing wherever you are. In an Instagram post, lead vocalist Dave Bayley told fans the band’s new track is about normalising weakness and vulnerability in life. The track couldn’t come at a more fitting time with much of the world experiencing uncertainty and increased pressure in their lives in the face of a global pandemic.
“It’s about realising you can’t make everyone happy. And realising it’s ok to be defeated by something. We are often expected to ‘be strong’ and to swallow our sadness. Failing to do that is seen as weakness…but being vulnerable should be a positive thing.”
‘Helium’ concludes the album with strumming guitars and airy vocals that add a taste of psychedelic beauty. The chorus of the song comes together seamlessly and is definitely a song for reflection inducing nostalgia in the listener. The album comes full circle with the melody from the first track ‘Dreamland’ replaying, concluding the track and the album.
Dreamland is very exploratory in its self-reflection of Dave Bayley and his life making this coming of age album a very interesting listen. Triggered by a serious incident that caused lead singer Bayley to look introspectively at his life, Dreamland is sonically beautiful and maintains the band’s classic psychedelic pop sound with a rich meaning behind each song. After 2 years of silence, Glass Animals are finally back with an album that highlights their musical talent and lyrical prowess. Dreamland is a wonderful comeback for Glass Animals who have produced some outstanding new music.
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