After what has been a tumultuous period for Glass Animals following drummer Joe Seaward’s horrific road accident, their long-awaited third album was finally released following his miraculous recovery. They are back with style, finding themselves sounding stronger and more confident than ever.

The new album, Dreamland, originally set to debut on 10 July, was rightfully delayed in support of Black Lives Matter as a mark of respect to the injustices faced by Black communities worldwide, with the band releasing a statement on Instagram, saying: “it couldn’t have felt more like the wrong time to release music.” 

Now, one month later, it certainly feels like the right time for the band to unleash what is an audible masterpiece and emotional experience to the world. 

When any band releases their third album, audiences may have predetermined expectations – what Dreamland does, in that respect, is undoubtedly clever. It continues the experimental trademark of what the Glass Animals sound has become since their first album, by taking another left turn from said people’s expectations.

Throughout 2020, Glass Animals have been slowly teasing fans by pre-releasing tracks, notably ‘Your Love (Déjà Vu)’ and ‘Heat Waves’, but it’s the clever structure of the album’s track list, peppering it with a series of ‘home movies which sets you on an audible journey into the Dreamland.

Somewhat still a relatively unknown and underappreciated band, they have embraced their alternative sound. Using their highly-skilled musical ability to write an album which doesn’t just touch on the emotional rollercoaster of life – something the band have been thrust into recently – but takes these emotions and their interpretations of difficult subjects and manifests them in a raw yet sensitive manner, easily making Dreamland their best album to-date. 

Unlike their previous work, Dreamland hones-in on the lead singer and songwriter, Dave Bayley, and his personal experience. The result of which touches this collection of music with a mix of emotional trauma, estrangement and loss – making it more of a challenging listen, yet undeniably personal and strangely addictive. 

The ingenious combination of intertwining the songs with a series of self-recorded ‘Home Movies’ is what cements the album as a deep-cut expression of emotion and forces the listener to reflect on their own life.

The evocative nature of Bayley’s lyrics in tandem with the psychedelia of their musical compositions will excite age-old fans and be sure to catch the attention of those new to the party.

All that needs to be said is, ‘welcome to Dreamland’ – from the title track right to the end, it’s a place that you’ll find difficult to leave, but you certainly won’t want to.

5/5

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