26 Nov 2016

The meticulous, slinky pop of Glass Animals

From RNZ Music, 2:00 pm on 26 November 2016
Glass Animals

Glass Animals Photo: Neil Krug

Dave Bayley is the singer and production wizard behind UK indie pop outfit Glass Animals. Dave was studying to be a doctor when the band’s first EP caught the ear of super-producer Paul Epworth (Adele, Bloc Party, Florence and The Machine, many, many more), who promptly signed them to his label Wolf Tone.

Since then they’ve released two albums, both of which saw Dave applying a doctor’s attention to detail, creating conceptual framework to hang his songs on. ‘Zaba’ is sonically and lyrically inspired by life in a fictitious rain forest, and ‘How To Be A Human Being’ has each song describing a different character. These characters sprang from Dave’s imagination but were heavily inspired by a series of recordings he made while on tour, secretly documenting conversations he overheard or took part in.

Dave says: “I love listening to people’s stories and hearing about other people’s lives. People are just incredible!”

Their thoughtful approach to making records is reminiscent of fellow Oxford band Radiohead (both played their first shows at Oxford’s Jericho Tavern), but musically they draw on a rich lineage of modern American music, particularly hip hop and RnB.

Dave credits this to the part of his youth he spent in a small American town, where “there were two radio stations, one of them played Christian country music and the other one played gangsta rap, and that was what I tuned into”.

Glass Animals are a band juggling two impulses –making albums that contain meticulously planned aural worlds, and making slinky pop tunes with festival-friendly choruses.

New Zealand crowds will get to see how all this translates to a live setting on 30 January  when the band plays the 2017 Laneway Festival.