Glass Animals – ZABA
“Put your hand down boy, welcome to my zoo,” beckons Glass Animals frontman Dave Bayley on Toes, one of many ornate tracks in the Oxford quartet's menagerie. Alt-J may have married spindly indie rock with flirtatious nerdiness in 2012, but this lot infuse a psychedelic and tropical charm into their sultry debut ZABA.
Bayley’s incantatory lyrics are whispered like an adolescent H.P. Lovecraft; lead single Gooey puts him “fresh out of an icky gooey womb,” while Black Mambo’s pizzicato R‘n’B implores us to “slow down, it’s a science”. The record’s imagery – lyrical and aural - is silken, billowing vapours, with cicadas and crickets chirping amid bongos and plucked strings. Electronics and found sounds mingle to form intoxicating textures, so much so the album is an uncanny, enchanting trip. Early band name Alligator Puffin Chicken Go Yeh Woo was fortunately scrapped; Glass Animals conveys just the right note of opalescent weirdness and smirking, furry mischief. [George Sully]