My favorites: Hot Sugar, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Helium
Listen if you like: Goth Babe, Phantogram, Washed Out
After the release of the single tracks which teased the release of Glass Animals’ album, Dreamland, fans were eager to hear the newest album. Initially set to release July 10th, the album was actually released on August 7th. As a listener, I’ve enjoyed the band’s past two albums and have awaited the release of Dreamland for at least four years. You can check out my initial reaction to the single releases on my first blog post about the band here.
The expectations I formed based upon the initial single releases led me to infer the album’s meaning and purpose. Glass Animals frontman Dave Bayley reflects in the “Dreamland” track on the uncertainty of life and how the pandemic has had an effect on the band; and additionally these emotions were heightened following drummer Joe Seaward’s biking accident in 2018 which deeply affected all the band members. Not only does the album follow this theme, the “Dreamland” single hints at another theme for the album: “You’ve had too much of digital love/You want everything live, you want things you can touch.” The album focuses on a longing for the era of the 90s (indicated by the album art) where technology and screens had less of a pull on the general public. Both uncertainty and an anti-technology stance pepper the album’s lyricism. In “Tangerine,” Bayley teases the song’s subject for losing themself: focused on money and taking “aerial photos of you and your smoothie.” The album additionally furthers the nostalgic 90’s vibe with interspersed samples of old home movies, the ringing of a corded home phone, and references to holographic glasses, GTA, and Dr. Dre.
Though the album provides a few great new tracks, there is very little variation from their usual sound. I definitely expected more variety to the likes of the single “Tokyo Drifting” featuring experimental melody and a feature by Denzel Curry. As a Gen-Z, I am unimpressed by the attempts to channel nostalgia by bashing modern life and technology; though I’m sure this would have more impact on someone raised in the 90’s or earlier. Though I don’t love this album, I do look forward to what’s next for the band.