Hailing from Oxford, England, Glass Animals have been quickly rising up the musical ranks. Formed by four school friends, Dave Bayley (whose idea it was to start the band), Drew MacFarlane, Edmund Irwin-Singer, and Joe Seaward, the group knew each other for years before making music together. They finally started to take off in 2012, quickly finding themselves signed by producer Paul Epworth, who has done work with the likes of Adele, Friendly Fires, and Plan B, to his new Wolf Tone Records label as one of the it’s first artists.
In June 2014, the band released their debut album, Zaba. They had previously released two EPs, 2012's Leaflings, and 2013's Glass Animals. An EP including Zabasingle “Pools,” a cover of Kanye West's “Love Lockdown,” and remixes of a couple of their other songs, was released in July.
The band's sound on Zabais eclectic, mixing synths and African drum beats with soft vocals, giving them a sort of jazzy, atmospheric feel. Just from it’s singles alone, the album shows a wealth of versatility in it’s musicians. It’s second single, “Gooey,” is slinky and cool, with its thick, syrupy groove and drawn out vocals. By comparison, “Pools,” the band’s latest single, is a bit more upbeat, using what sounds like an some sort of African percussion, which acts as the backbone of the song among its ethereal vocals. The album’s first single, “Black Mambo,” has more of the traditional slow jam-rock sound, including smooth vocals, steady drumbeat, and twinkling keyboards, all backed by a wall of voices by the end.
Glass Animals will be touring all over the United States this September and Europe in October. Rome Fortune will be joining them for the U.S. dates.
With an eclectic musical style merging numerous influences, Glass Animals have found themselves a unique sound among the countless other jam bands out there. There is nothing conventional about this band’s music, which is what makes it so interesting. It will be exciting to hear what Glass Animals will have in store for us next.
By Elise Yablon