From the confines of lockdown, Glass Animals announces their third studio album, Dreamland, will be released on July 10th via Republic Records. With the announcement comes the title track, “Dreamland,” which is the trailer for what is to come from this truly original band—listen to “Dreamland” HERE and pre-order the album HERE!
Today, Glass Animals shares the utterly unique, self-made video for “Dreamland” that frontman Dave Bayley and a small remote creative team have conjured up to introduce the new album. Using handwritten instructions, set in Dave’s own home and directed entirely on ZOOM, it’s an absurd but strangely comforting dreamlike trip that pays tribute to the track and the album perfectly—watch the “Dreamland” video HERE!
At the heart of Dreamland lies the quietly enigmatic Bayley, the band’s frontman and producer extraordinaire, who’s work extends far beyond that of Glass Animals, with credits including Joey Bada$$, Flume, Wale, Khalid and most recently Denzel Curry on the late 2019 single “Tokyo Drifting.” For Bayley, Dreamland is a nostalgic memoir of his life so far, covering expansive and difficult ground and holding nothing back. It’s packed full of personal experiences, none more emotional than when the band’s drummer, Joe Seaward, was involved in a monstrous bike accident in July 2018, which threatened his life and that of Glass Animals altogether.
Bayley says, “The idea for this album came at a time of confusion and uncertainty. My best friend was in the hospital. I didn’t know if he’d make it. The future was damn scary and completely unknown. During those weeks in the hospital, it was so difficult to look forwards that I found myself looking backwards. Digging around in my mind, pulling up old memories, finding comfort in them even if they were uncomfortable in themselves. Speaking to friends and family, I’ve realised that a lot of people are experiencing a similar sort of confusion now. Everything that we thought we could see clearly in front of us has been thrown into the air, and all the while, we can’t be out finding our footing. We can’t be out creating new memories, so…we’re diving back head-first into the old ones. I hear that in conversations. I see it in what people are watching on TV. In what we’re listening to. In what we’re eating. In dreams.”
Bayley’s is a fascinating story—born in America to a Welsh father and Israeli mother, Dave spent the first seven years of his life in small town Massachusetts and the next seven in Texas, before moving to the UK at the age of 14.
Bayley says, “This 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 or sexuality. It’s about realising it’s ok to not have answers and it’s ok to not know how you feel about things and that it’s ok to be and look vulnerable. In fact, all of that is quite exciting. So often life asks us for binary yes or no answers. It asks us to conform and to fit in. But the world is so much more interesting and colourful than that…it’s a much more fluid and uncertain place.”
Thankfully, Seaward learned to walk, talk and (eventually) drum again, and earlier this year, against all odds, Glass Animals returned in full lineup (albeit briefly) to the road to play some of the venues they played when they first started out as a band. The aim—to celebrate with the fans what they have built, what they have and what they very nearly lost, as well as test out some of the new record. With all touring plans currently on hold, Glass Animals’ objectives remain very much the same. In extraordinarily unique ways, the band is using the current situation to connect, create and celebrate with their fans across the globe.
Bayley continues, “I spent weeks devastated that our big plans to bring this album to you in real life on a stage were shattered…but, somehow, in all the uncertainty and before all the unknowns…right now seems like the most insane, but also the most apt time to reveal this record. Growing up is a strange time, the hospital was a strange time and here we are in a strange time again.”