They say you should always write about what you know, but on Glass Animals last outing How To Be A Human Being, the Oxford quartet’s Dave Bayley did precisely the opposite, using anecdotes told to him by complete strangers to form the basis of it’s songs; it was a compilation of other people’s experiences, one which became a Transatlantic success.
Dreamland however is inspired by something very different. Whilst in Ireland drummer Joe Seaward was involved in an accident cycling during which he suffered brain damage; after waking up he found he’d lost the ability to speak or walk. Whilst his closest friend since childhood bravely relearned the most basic of skills, Bayley reflected on his own life, focusing on his adolescence in Texas and it’s omnipresent stereotyping, on Space Ghost Coast To Coast recounting the story of a youthful soul mate who showed up to his first day at high school there with a gun.
Dreamland is well named. It’s crushing for example to think that the person being sung about as a victim of abuse on Domestic Bliss is real, or that a kid should turn up to class wanting to kill people, but the music is for the most part angular, smart, hip-hop/ post R&B and almost hypnotic, the effect a highly danceable sadness on the likes of the title track, Hot Sugar or Tangerine. If these dreams are really our ghosts and fears, they might also be a confessional too.
You can read the full review here.