No album title could be more fitting for Glass Animal’s anticipated third album than Dreamland. Keeping in the themes of previous albums How to Be A HumanBeing and Zaba, Dreamland is just as sexy and genre-shifting as its predecessors. But if you listen carefully underneath the glittering and near immaculate production, you’ll hear frontman and lyricist Dave Bayley’s most personal and autobiographical songs to date. The expected funky, tropical, and almost goofy vernacular is present - but now it’s weaved with Bayley’s more evocative lyrics and storytelling. In what Bayley was admittedly dipping his toe into on previous albums is what grabs ahold of Dreamland in a new and gripping way for the Oxford-based band.
Partially inspired by drummer Joe Seward’s near fatal biking accident (and then near-miraculous recovery) as well Bayley’s childhood nostalgia, the album is a lyrical kaleidoscope of topics. Expect some transcendental, orchestral tracks (the titular “Dreamland”, and the moving “It’s All So Incredibly Loud”) - as well as poppy, catchy hip-hop through the vivid Glass Animals filter (Re: “Tokyo Drifting” with Denzel Curry, “Hot Sugar”).
“Space Ghost Coast to Coast” and “Domestic Bliss” are stories thick with glazed metaphors and imagination, Bayley reliving old friends and old memories with a twist. Sprinkles of nostalgia make appearances in more than just snippets from Bayley’s home videos - if you catch references to Scooby Doo, Pokemon, Nintendo 64 games, and Dunkaroos, then you’re giving the album the deep dive it deserves.
Dreamland is another amusing and audibly delicious listen that solidifies Glass Animals as more than just a cult favorite indie-electronica band. This is an album you can unwrap more than once and find a new prize inside each time. Cross your fingers we’ll get to see the boys stateside for their postponed Dreamland tour very soon.
Editor’s Picks: “Space Ghost Coast to Coast”, “It’s All So Incredibly Loud”, “Hot Sugar”
- Written by Juliette Rojas