My first introduction to Oxford indie rock band, Glass Animals, came when esteemed Irish blogger, Nialler9, featured an article on the bands new single, Pools, back in March 2014. The track was to be the third single from their upcoming debut LP, Zaba. Glass Animals immediately seemed to be trying to do something different. The tropical feel to this track along with the stomping drums that continued throughout the track were a different direction than most indie rock bands at the time.
Zaba would eventually go on to be one of this writers favourite releases of the year, and would be enough to encourage me to check out the band when they eventually played a live show in Whelan’s the following October. What would follow would be one of the best live shows that I would see that year. To a completely packed out venue, Glass Animals demonstrated a showmanship and natural charisma that was hard not to engage with as front man, David Bayley, bounded around the stage with an enthusiasm that was instantly compelling.
Bandmates, David Bayley (lead vocals and guitar), Drew MacFarlane (guitar, keys, and backing vocals), Edmund Irwin-Singer (bass, keys, backing vocals), and Joe Seaward (drums), met while they were in secondary school and would eventually form Glass Animals when they went to college.
November 2013 would bring the first major single from the band, the atmospheric and ominous Black Mambo. The single would feature on the self titled EP, by the band that was released in the same month and would go on to be one of the leading tracks on the critically acclaimed debut album by the band that would come out the following year, the aforementioned Zaba.
After the success of Zaba, the band would engage in a long sustained period of touring that would see them perform shows across the globe. It would be May 2016 before the world who hear new music from the Oxford band, Life Itself would become the lead single from their second album, How to Be a Human Being. It would be followed by the truly excellent single, Youth,
This writer was originally drawn to Glass Animals because of their name and the fact that Pools seemed to suggest that the band were making music that would stand out from the noise of the time. Subsequent releases would reinforce this belief, and Glass Animals continue to be one of the most exciting bands on the go at the moment.