Glass Animals are speculated to be the “It” band of 2014, and now that today they’re releasing debut album Zaba, we can officially judge that theory. In actuality, it’s to be released on the 9th of June, but Australia is the first to get it on the 6th – sometimes it pays off to be on the other side of the world.
The album is a seductive blend of R&B, shoegaze and psychedelic rock. Something that Glass Animals does really well is the use of simple instrumental rhythms to create an intense atmosphere. The album has really embraced the tropical vibe, transporting the listener right into that environment with wild animal calls, jungle-inspired drums and singer Dave Bayley’s whispering voice washing over you.
It isn’t hard to figure out why they’re so often compared to fellow indie band Alt-J with their distinctive vocals and eerie sound. However, Glass Animals definitely has a uniqueness, and an enticing uniqueness at that. Though, they have somewhat exploited this uniqueness by applying the same formula to nearly every song. After several listen-throughs, it’s still difficult to distinguish between many of the songs in the back half.
Looking at the highlights though, “Black Mambo” featured on their excellent previous self-titled EP and is a peak track on Zaba again. Other stand-outs include opening track “Flip” which builds from utterly minimalistic to an explosion of sound, harmony-filled “Walla Walla”, and “Hazey” with fantastic tribal beats. Then, of course, the singles “Gooey” and “Pools” can’t be missed.
You can stream the whole album on their website right now.
Hometown: Oxford, UK.
Latest album: Zaba, out 9 June 2014.
Sounds like: Alt-J
Say what? In an interview with UK magazine Beat back in 2012, the band hopes that listeners to EP Leaflings will “party with the bunnies and unicorns and bunnies with unicorn horns (bunnicorns?) and other creatures of the forest. Like bears. Bears seriously know how to party. They’re always dizzily wanging about crazy high on uppers.” They certainly have a thing for animals.
Exclusively and pretentiously handpicked just for you, by Jane.