Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Must listen: Glass Animals - This Life

"There's definitely some weird lines, there's a line about mayonnaise in one of the tracks, we're slowly getting through all the condiments."

If Dave Bayley was trying to win me over to his band, it worked. He's the frontman of Oxford quartet Glass Animals, the first band signed to Wolf Tone, the label set up by Adele's partner-in-crime, Paul Epworth,

Their debut album, Zaba, prompted exuberant swirls of purple prose from critics - The Line Of Best Fit called them "one of the most exciting British bands for a long time" - but an indifferent public ignored it. The album spent one week in the chart, at number 92.

Things look set to change on the follow-up, How To Be A Human Being, thanks in no small part to its recipe-based format, which makes it an ideal substitute for the imperiled BBC Food website.

First single Life Itself premiered on Annie Mac's show last night, interrupting final sessions for the record ("we're finishing it tonight," said Dave.)

Lyrically, the song looks back at Dave's childhood, when his dad said "he loved each of my two million freckles" and told him he'd be a superstar" when he grew up. In reality, the song reveals, he's fat, depressed and living with his mum. But it's no novelty song - thanks to the tribal drums, stonewashed synths and a killer chorus.

The stronger, strident sound was prompted by the band's experience of touring Zaba, Dave explained: "We started playing the songs similar to how they were recorded. Then we realised that people wanted something dancier and bigger. So we started remixing them live, putting the kick up and the bass up, making them really raw and heavy. And that definitely affected this record. We had that in our mind, how people would react live."

Listen below.

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