Glass Animals’ “Heat Waves” Proclaims Positivity in Vulnerability

Glass Animals’ “Heat Waves” Proclaims Positivity in Vulnerability

The release of Glass Animals’ third and latest single off of Dreamland, “Heat Waves”, offers a fiery proclamation of self-assurance poised for summer anthem status.

Glass Animals has released a scorching single just in time for one of the most uncertain summers in recent memory. The release of “Heat Waves” closely follows the postponement of the upcoming LP, Dreamland, originally slated to drop on July 10th. Frontman Dave Bayley took to Instagram to clarify the delay, citing support of the Black Lives Matter movement as the reasoning behind the decision. Despite a series of tumultuous world events (re: pandemic, racism) coinciding with the British psych-pop outfit’s return to music, Glass Animals have time and time again proven their mindfulness and gracefully adjusted while remaining vocal on the issues that require attention. “Dreamland as an album stands for destroying engrained thinking patterns of all forms”, Bayley states.

“Heat Waves”, which is yet another example of Glass Animals’ prolific  production, is a synth-driven lamentation over utter helplessness in failing to conceal vulnerabilities. Despite its dismal themes, the track’s danceable beat and Bayley’s unperturbed vocals clue us into the underlying theme/meaning/drive of the song,  which is the acceptance and even embrace of being powerless against yourself. It may sound jaded, but on the contrary it relishes in the beauty of surrender – not only to circumstances out of your control, but also to yourself.  

“Now I gotta let you go

You’ll be better off in someone new

I don’t wanna be alone

You know it hurts me too

You look so broken when you cry

One more and then I say goodbye”

In a recent statement, Bayley writes, “It’s about realizing you can’t make everyone happy. And realizing it’s okay to be defeated by something”. It’s a revealing glance into Bayley’s personal introspections – suggested to be a running theme on this album. This is a contrast to Glass Animals’ previous record, which took the viewpoint of a different fictional character on each track. It’s a fitting time to divulge this perspective, as this record was born from a most uncomfortably ambiguous time for the group – most notably drummer Joe Seaward’s catastrophic bicycle accident in 2018. This recent homecoming is not only a triumphant return for Seaward, but an assertive reclamation of the stage and domain the group has established themselves upon.

Glass Animals - Heat Waves (Official Video)

Alongside the single’s release came an inventively directed music video that takes place in the silent streets of Bayley’s quarantined London neighborhood. Nostalgic cinematography depicts the singer trudging past house-ridden onlookers with a pile of television sets in tow, headed towards the final destination of an empty venue. Intermittent iPhone shots from the perspectives of these onlookers feels like a timely allusion to what connects us in a world post-pandemic. On the video’s subject matter, Bayley writes, “The ‘Heat Waves’ video is a love letter to live music and the culture and togetherness surrounding it”. This sentiment relates more specifically to the single’s theme of powerlessness and gives a nod to the empty venues around the world that will not survive the concert deficit, and the understanding of how little can be done to save them. Following a cancelled world tour including back-to-back nights at Red Rocks with support from Denzel Curry (ouch), it carries an air of comfort to know that the people on stage are mourning the loss of live music just as much as their audience is.

“Heat Waves” is currently available on all streaming platforms and Glass Animals’ third LP Dreamland will be available via Polydor Records on August 7th. This latest release builds  suspense for what promises to be a touching examination of the human experience, backed by infectious dance-floor beats.