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“I’ve at all times been actually, actually afraid to jot down about myself. I at all times thought it was egocentric.” Stated Dave Bayley in a current interview. The lead vocalist and precept songwriter of Glass Animals had beforehand been solely comfy with the thought of writing from the angle of characters. On the indie-hop group’s distinctive final document How To Be A Human Being they curiously deconstructed the motives of a various bunch of individuals they’d met while touring. Nonetheless, two key moments persuaded Dave Bayley and the remainder of the Oxford-formed band to vary their songwriting method. The life-threatening bike accident that just about paralyzed drummer Joe Seaward and the viewers’s constructive response to the earlier document’s finale ‘Agnes’ – a track that detailed a pal’s suicide – led Bayley to open up about his childhood and upbringing within the States. He’s been attempting to determine why he’s been so hesitant to discuss himself for therefore lengthy. Hiding behind characters as a defensive mechanism as a result of he was introduced up in a men-don’t-show-feelings-free tradition, the as soon as Texas-dwelling vocalist is now writing lyrics that don’t maintain again – even to the purpose of profanity – and overtly present his battle with vulnerability.

This lyrical U-turn into autobiography is instantly evident from the observe listing of Glass Animals’ third album Dreamland, as the brand new LP is split into fifths by brief interludes that’s titles precede with ((residence films)). Certainly that’s what they’re, little toddler Bayley and his mom Orit Braha having cute recorded conversations. His mom asking if he’s watching Sesame Avenue, speaking about rockets and laughing at his footwear being placed on the fallacious toes. It endearingly brings us nearer to Dave Bayley’s life. The primary one acts as a time stamp: “What’s the date? seventh of Could, 1994”. This provides some indication to the time-frame of Bayley’s cultural references and flashbacks to a sure extent, though additionally they scatter amongst late 90’s, early 00’s. The popular culture references all through the album are so plentiful that it might make Seth McFarlane and Tinie Tempah blush (though many are American attributable to residing in that nation), however then once more, it’s an correct scrapbook of a millennial’s childhood: a mix of nervous power, love confusion, TV reveals and types. It’s value noting that the Glass Animals web site at present operates like a Home windows 98 desktop.

Title observe ‘Dreamland’ and ‘Helium’ are summarizing bookends to the album. They ease us into and out the document musically and lyrically. The previous is a soothing lullaby that kind of imagines listeners briefly floating by way of the contents of the album. It’s a intelligent and sensible technique to begin a document. “Pullin’ down backstreets, deep in your head. Slippin’ by way of dreamland like a vacationer.” Dave Bayley sings depicting the state of dreaming earlier than itemizing contents of the document. For instance: “He had a gun on the primary day of highschool” is a shortcut hyperlink to the observe ‘Area Ghost Coast to Coast’.

‘Area Ghost Coast to Coast’ discusses Dave Bayley’s criminally-minded pal at college who was arrested for planning a school-shooting. Giving it a private contact, he has a dialog together with his imprisoned pal: “I mentioned to you, why did you do it? Contact the glass, I’ll really feel ya by way of it. In opposition to the wall with the bracelets on. You look weird within the apricot.” However he additionally feedback on how TV reveals and videogames (hear a Area Invaders sound finish the observe) can contribute to a baby’s delusional method: “You suppose you’re Area Ghost. You’re needed coast to coast / “Taking part in an excessive amount of of that GTA. Taking part in an excessive amount of of that Dr.Dre. Doom, Quake, the place’d you get that gun from, eh?” The observe is a superb instance of Glass Animals’s rising lean into hip-hop, as not solely are the snapping beats in that type, there’s additionally Dave Bayley’s rapping and common us of express lyrics.

Though ‘Tokyo Drifting’ (which may very well be a reference to The Quick and The Livid movie) takes the Hip Hop nature additional by being the primary Glass Animals observe to characteristic a rapper. Denzel Curry raps in the midst of the track that’s meant to be half ironic. Dave Bayley adopts a persona referred to as Wavey Davey, which though would initially counsel that he’s going again camouflaging behind characters he’s truly expressing his timid insecurities. He goals about being the courageous hedonistic man that may “Suck smoke in his ’40, home windows up. He rolls, like he actually doesn’t give a-
Drug lust and two packets in your pocket.”

‘Home Bliss’ is among the strongest tracks on Dreamland – it feels particularly related now attributable to an increase in home violence throughout lock down – it’s a couple of childhood pal that’s father that used to abuse his mom. It’s written from the angle of the pal whose questioning his mom’s reluctance to go away the scenario. The very best line is: “He received balloons, new flowers, too. Final one’s dyin’ in your bed room,” that primarily displays the cyclical routine of abusers; kindness turns into torment earlier than turning into kindness once more.

Nonetheless, Dave Bayley additionally opens up about his personal relationship expertise on Dreamland. ‘Your Love (DéJá Vú)’ – which is a clean transition from their earlier document for it’s a music model – is about being hooked on an unhealthy and chaotic relationship. “Everybody who sees you falls in love. You eat us up.” ‘Waterfalls Coming Out Your Mouth’ is about pretending to be another person within the first few months of a partnership since you’re afraid to be uncool. Which re-highlights the anxieties. Moreover, ‘It’s All So Unbelievable Loud’ is concerning the aggravating and horrifying second the place you realized you’ve mentioned one thing that’s relationship-destroying. The apprehensive, word-play lyrics (“Whispers would deafen me now. You don’t make a sound. Heartbreak was by no means so loud”) and the way in which the music suitably turns into louder make one of many album’s finest tracks.

Opening observe Dreamland ends with the strains: “You go ask questions like “What makes a person? Oh it’s 2020, so it’s time to vary that. So that you go make an album and name it Dreamland.” It will have been fascinating if the poisonous masculinity theme was developed a bit additional, there are moments the place the lyrics can get a bit ludicrous and a few songs veer a bit an excessive amount of in the direction of the pop manufacturing of Maroon 5. Nonetheless, it’s courageous and admirable for Dave Bayley and Glass Animals to take the difficult leap into extra exposing lyrics.

Glass Animals – Dreamland (Wolf Tone Information)

Matt Hobbs

August 10, 2020


7/10



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