Glass Animals’ sophomore album, How to be a Human Being is eccentric, upbeat and unique. It is an album which deserves to be listened to as a whole; its sheer brilliance and the band’s attention to detail is definitely something to admire.
Like the album title suggests, the album tells the story of people and their everyday lives. Each song is about different fictional character, inspired by real people and real stories. Actors were also cast as these fictional characters, and appear on the album cover, inside the album artwork and some in music videos. The band even went a step further, creating a set for each character to be photographed in which reflected their personality. The track Youth even has its own website, (dizzyoncaffiene.com)!
The album’s first single and opening track, Life Itself, is punchy, with blunt lyrics and a beat sure to make you feel like dancing. Dave Bayley’s vocals are smooth and confident, just like the character he is singing about. However, Youth is definitely the standout here. The combination of soothing guitar plucks and warming percussion perfectly complements the vocals. It is a lively yet “easy-going” tune which adequately represents the subject matter so casually described. Intricate yet accessible, it is no surprise that Youth was a single released prior to the album itself. The other songs that made the cut have their own place on the record for one reason or another. Cane Shuga and Season 2 Episode 3 are heavily reliant on their production where electronic instrumentals take centre stage. These songs sound more typical of a Safia release than that of Glass Animals, something that can easily be forgiven.
Overall, Glass Animals has delivered a mellow album that breaks no boundaries but is comfortable with itself despite that fact. The highlights are most definitely highlights nothing seems out of place even including the incredibly bizarre interlude [Premade Sandwiches]. How to be a Human Being was released last Friday on the 26th of August and is definitely worthy of the coveted Biltz Album of the Week.
By Alessandra Femenias & Simon Penny