After selling nearly half a million copies of their debut album Zaba, which included popular hits “Black Mambo” and “Gooey,” in 2014, Glass Animals has kept busy to say the least. The Oxford quartet’s spike in popularity has earned them spots playing brand name festivals such as Bonnaroo, Falls in Australia, Coachella, Lollapalooza, and Glastonbury. Alongside this, Glass Animals has sold out two huge venues: Los Angeles’ Wiltern and New York City’s Terminal 5 which both cater to a few thousand.
Lead singer Dave Bayley has noticed these immense changes in the band’s presence in the music world. Bayley says, “Things have changed a lot [over] the past two years. Instead of sitting in the studio, we’ve been in a different city every night; making friends, hearing crazy stories, getting in crazy trouble.” Amidst all this, the band itself changed as a by-product of their newfound popularity. Bayley notes, “As crowds grew, they got more feral, and so did we. We found ourselves going wilder on stage, and playing heavier, grittier, high energy versions of our songs, changing them every night.”
But Glass Animals didn’t buy themselves a one way ticket to glory just to hop off as soon as things got good. All of this change catalyzed the production of the track “Life Itself” and the rest of the band’s highly anticipated second album, How to Be A Human Being, due for release later in the summer. “All of it made me want to think about people, and write something rawer and more human. ‘Life Itself’ is one of those,” Bayley explains.
“Life Itself” is an exotic, almost otherworldly peer into the mind of someone who walks to the beat of their own drum, solidifying their position in the left-field of popular music by constantly living inside their own head. Following the fluttering harp and various random samples in the intro, wobbly, barely noticeable synth lines add that key element of weird while rhythmic tribal drums pulse the verses forward to a catchy, energetic chorus. “Life Itself” gives the listener a taste of the feral-ness and unapologetic humanity Bayley and his bandmates have experienced since the release of Zaba. Glass Animals has managed to stay true to their wavy, dreamlike alternative sound that features a hint of psychedelia while adding this undeniably enjoyable aspect of the untamed.