Glass Animals are a suave R n’ B meets experimental indie pop quartet that hail from Oxford, UK, and they are one of the most hyped up-and-coming outfits generating buzz around the globe right now.
In April of this year, the band dropped their second EP entitled Gooey to which our Tone Deaf Reviewer stamped a 6.5/10, commenting on release, “despite the lack of new content, the Oxford four-piece continue to show promise on this EP.”
Even though the four-piece did not receive the strongest of accolades, our reviewer held the highest of hopes for the band’s impending debut record, “Gooey provides another small yet sweet sample of Glass Animals’ unique sound, but it probably won’t be enough to tide you over until the release of ZABA this June.”
Well, with the arrival of first wintery month, we are pretty stoked to report that Glass Animals’ debut LP ZABA is at long last here, and we think the wait was pretty damn worth it!
In the lead-up to the record’s release date, we had a chat with frontman Dave Bayley who was only too excited to talk to our interviewer through the band’s long-player, “I think it very much sounds like Glass Animals, but those first couple of singles and recordings definitely were a bit tame.”
“You know, they were the first singles we came out with and we were a bit self-conscious about what our Mums would think, so we kept things relatively tame musically and I think this album sounds bigger, wilder, a bit more beastly.”
Laughing, the singer continued, “Paul keeps saying it sounds a bit like Timbaland and Dr Dre done by four white boys.”
Detailing some of the…erm, stranger studio techniques implemented by the crew, he said, “we did some weird stuff. You know, you’ve got to get the vibe right and if the song sounds like you’re lying down holding a pineapple floating on a cloud, you gotta do it.”
If you’ve never spun Glass Animals before, weird may be the first descriptive that slips into your upon initial listen, however the more you turn their tracks – the more accessible and infectious they become.
This rule applies emphatically to ZABA, which oozes with Glass Animal bravado as each of the 11-tracks pound with tribal percussions, funky ass-movin’ bass lines, illuminating psyc-jams and of course, the sensual watery-whisper of the aforementioned Dave Bayley.
Insane highlights to keep your eager ears wide open for is ‘Toes’, which progresses with cruisy bass tones and palm-muted guitar riffs whilst a swarm of humming and jungle atmospherics provide an organic wall of sound. This track comes together in a seamless fashion as the myriad of sonic elements and Bayley’s sensual vocals become one – Glass Animals at their most natural and comfortable state.
‘Intruxx’ is an early morning trip of tranquility, a twinkling instrumental jam of slow finger-picking and mystified ambience that’ll leave you in a state of ZABA-zen. Beating at only 2:55-minutes, this composition comes with the dangerous risk of breaking your repeat button.
‘Hazey’ is perhaps the most differentiated track of the record, introducing the more gritty-grind of industrial rock.
Of course, there are the stellar tracks that have already been dripped through previous EP releases including the flowing ‘Gooey’, the murky-blues inspired ‘Cocoa Hooves’ and ‘Black Mambo’ – a tune that is surely to be sampled just about EVERYWHERE!
But that’s enough from us – now it’s your turn to get lost in Glass Animal’s funky-experimental jungle of ZABA, warning: you may never want to leave.
To celebrate the release of ZABA (out this Friday June 6th via Caroline/ Wolf Tone) Tone Deaf are giving readers the chance to win a Glass Animals prize pack, visit our competitions page for a chance to win.