How to be a Human Being by Glass Animals

Glass Animals’ second album sees them emerge from the murky and mysterious tropical jungle into new bright, bold and bizarre territory. The album grew out of the recorded conversations that lead singer Dave Bayley held with peculiar characters the band met while touring their debut LP Zaba. These quirky stories, combined with the wild imagination of Bayley and the off-beat synth pop stylings of Glass Animals, have brought about a remarkable sophomore album.

Album starter and first single ‘Life Itself’ breathes life and light, with an unforgettable pop hook and some even more unforgettable lyrics. Thinking he is “Northern Camden’s own Flash Gordon” and being called fat by his mum are just a few of its lyrical treats.
Elsewhere in the Gameboy inspired ‘Season 2 Episode 3’, Dave sings about his girl who “eats mayonnaise, from a jar while she’s getting blazed”. One thing is for sure, the charming and kooky words of Dave Bayley haven’t changed a bit.

Glass Animals have taken a leap from their gloomy origins to manic and marvellous new heights. Poplar St and Pork Soda both show off their pop anthem credentials, whereas Mama’s Gun and Take A Slice effortlessly shift to more experimental ground, with catchy hip-hop beats and flawlessly fierce voice samples.

Nevertheless, single Yhatouth harks back to their dark and disturbing debut, and  How to be a Human Being will surely see the Oxford locals grow into bigger venues and even crazier festival slots come next summer.

Album finisher Agnes is a stand out heartfelt tale of woe and longing. Whilst Dave Bayley has jazzed up and sugar-coated the other characters developed in the tracks, putting a whimsical spin on their calamitous lives, this is much more honest and raw. It is a poignant and stunning end to what is sure to be a contender for album of the year by Glass Animals.

Luke Humphrey

(Image: The Edge)

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