Glass Animals - Pools

Glass Animals – Pools

Ahead of the release of their much-anticipated debut album ‘ZABA’ on the 9th June, Oxford quartet Glass Animals have shared the stunning animated video for their new single ‘Pools’. Directed by Rafael Bonilla, the vivid stop motion video brings the already-engrossing song even further to life.

‘ZABA’ will be released on June 9th via Wolf Tone/Caroline International. The album was recorded at Wolf Tone Studios in London, and produced by frontman Dave Bayley under executive production of Paul Epworth. The 11 track record features ‘Pools’, recent single ‘Gooey’ and a reworking of previous limited EP release, ‘Black Mambo’.

The bare bones of Glass Animals’ first songs took shape late at night – inspired by South London’s bass music scene – recorded secretly and quietly in a small room near Elephant & Castle. Surprisingly for everyone, the result was a beautiful piece of ambient electronica called ‘Golden Antlers’, pitched somewhere between Anthony & the Johnsons and James Blake.

Eventually this was shown only to Dave’s three closest friends, now band mates, who tweaked it and pinched its haunches a little before they put it onto the Internet. In the late spring of 2012 the band released a single on XL’s Kaya Kaya imprint. A year later, with ‘Black Mambo’, they became one of the first signings to Paul Epworth’s Wolf Tone label.

Created in Epworth’s own studio it is undoubtedly among this year’s most striking debuts. The title, lifted from Dave’s favorite childhood story, comes from William Steig’s The Zabajaba Jungle. Steig’s evocation of childhood adventure, exoticism and discovery is brilliantly fresh. ‘ZABA’ is one complete beast and a journey you will get most from if you immerse yourself fully and listen from start to finish. “The sound of the record,” Dave says, “is like a backdrop of man-made wilderness…”

Influenced by the exploratory, New World scenarios of Apocalypse Now, The Island of Dr Moreau, Heart of Darkness, The African Queen and Mosquito Coast, ‘ZABA’s songs tackle the humanization of nature and human interference with nature. “Even now a lot of my favorite books are those books that I grew up with,” he says. “Things like Zabajaba, like Roald Dahl, like Wind in the Willows. I suppose all I’ve been doing is using those little creatures and animals to cover up what I really meant, to disguise who and what I was really talking about.”

Inspired by Kanye West and Charles Darwin, Nina Simone and the Velvet Underground, ‘ZABA’ is a rich and textured work, a very special record indeed. With Dave producing and Epworth as A&R and mentor, the studio became their home and the band were free to record, improvise and write at their own speed, making their sound a bigger, brighter, heavier and more intense experience than ever before.

The first single, ‘Gooey’ is wobbly and child-like, a hymn to naivety. “There’s a confidence in the way children act,” Dave says. “I was trying to push that confidence into the beat.” ‘Walla-Walla’ goes back to Dave’s love of Timbaland and Dr. Dre, while Intruxx, initially the introduction to the entire record, summarizes this entire new world you’re entering.  “I used to be really into super-clean, no flaws production,” says Dave, “but now I like the context and soul that mistakes, chopped samples, and swirly white amp-noises give you…. We definitely were a bit self-conscious, we were once afraid to do something bold. Now when we’re together in the studio we don’t worry about those things. In fact, we don’t worry about anything at all…”

The tracklisting for ‘ZABA’ is as follows:

1. Flip

2. Black Mambo

3. Pools

4. Gooey

5. Walla Walla

6. Intruxx

7. Hazey

8. Toes

9. Wyrd

10. Cocoa Hooves

11. JDNT

As part of their ever-expanding live plans for 2014, the band will play at James Lavelle’s Meltdown Festival on 18th June, in the Production Arch of the Royal Festival Hall. The night, presented by Paul Epworth and Wolf Tone, features a yet to be announced range of DJ sets and live performances by some of the future stars on this exciting new label.

Glass Animals Live:

13th June – Rough Trade in-store, London

14th June – Buffalo Bar, Cardiff

16th June – The Lantern (Colston 2), Bristol

18th June – Meltdown Festival, London (Paul Epworth & Wolf Tone Presents…)

20th June – Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds

21st June – Ruby Lounge, Manchester

23rd June – Think Tank, Newcastle

25th June – Bungalows & Bears, Sheffield

19th July – Latitude Festival

4th Sept – Bestival

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