Dreamland Album Review

Dreamland Album Review

Gage Orr, Online Editor

Glass Animals, an psychedelic indie band originating from England, whose lead singer is Dave Bayley. Their fourth album has a good mix of different genres and tones, from the vapor wave tracks of Tokyo Drifting to the slow beats of Dreamland. The album also has a string of non-musical interactions that are called Home Movies. 

These help explain the “story” of the album, which is a typical Romanticizing-past-relationships trope seen around the music industry. Overall the total track list is 12 songs and 4 home movies. The interest in this album for me was the hyper mixing of genres, you got some rap, some pop, and some slow indie. Everywhere from the aforementioned Tokyo Drifting has a completely different vibe compared to the rest of the songs on the albums. 

The album starts with this, well, dreamy beat that seems to echo off the walls. When the singing starts it creates this 3 dimensional sound with the beat sounding echoed and distant yet the singer sounding perfectly clear, eventually he starts fading into the echos too. It’s meant to show you how he’s falling into “Dreamland” and beginning to remember the good times with his past/current lover. It connects nicely with the next song, Tangerine. The first more upbeat pop song on the album, Tangerine’s chorus shows that he and his lover are separated and he wishes to have her/him back. This song then goes into the first home movie on the album, 1994, which is just a really short skit of a woman talking. Sandwiched in between two home movies is the song Hot Sugar which is a song about not wanting to be with someone, but wanting to be like them in some way. It also starts with a verse about food, which makes the “Hot Sugar” seem like it’s just some Hot Chocolate. Then we get a clearer home movie titled btx, and it has a baby whining and a tv show playing in the background. Then we go into the more hiphop esc side of the album starting with Space Ghost Coast to Coast, which seems to be a criticism of one of his friends, which he grew up with. This friend began getting in trouble with the law when he moved away from him and this song is meant to represent that. 

Onto my favorite song of the album, Tokyo Drifting. There isn’t much story with this album other than real world stuff. Dave made the song for someone and they never ended up taking it so he decided to use it himself. He believed he didn’t have the confidence in his voice to actually rap and use the beat. What he did was make a fake character for himself called wavy davy to help him with those worries and give him confidence. He also got Denzel Curry on the track, which was an ordeal but when he eventually got the verse he was super excited and impressed with it. After the indie rapping from Tokyo Drifting, it goes into the melancholy beats of Melon and the Coconut. It’s about a Melon and a Coconut breaking up, no deeper meaning really.

Then into the more serious tones of Your Love (Deja Vu) which is about a semi abusive relationship that is always on and off. This isn’t even explicitly about a lover relationship, it could be anything from family to friends. The next song that i felt is probably the last important song in the album is Heat Waves. It’s about changing yourself because you got in a relationship with someone. He reflects on himself and is talking to himself. Altogether the song culminates with Helium, which is a summary of the album framed as a relationship between two people.

This album has been one of my favorites in 2020, only lagging behind After Hours by the Weeknd. Dreamland is a good album to listen to after a breakup or while sad, but some songs are also good to listen to when you feel on top of the world.