Glass Animals are an elusive band. Little information is around to be found about the group, other than a collection of select releases and an intriguing video for latest single ‘Cocoa Hooves’.
Apart from that, there’s no mention of a hometown on their Facebook page, hardly any photographs to be found and no back story. They keep themselves to themselves, only emerging from the undergrowth to unveil their specially honed brand of eclectic synth-pop. There’s a tad of dubstep to be found (only a tad, mind), and the rest is pretty darn soulful, with sultry vocals oozing from the cracks in their electronic whirrings.
Speaking to the band, we finally get a few more details on their enigmatic existence – they’re probably from Oxford. They also like Radiohead, Burial, and slugs. So without further ado, we’d like to introduce you to Glass Animals.
How would you describe your sound to someone who’s never heard you before?
Like the sound of unicorns whispering, but with no cowbell. Probably not actually… We take inspiration from lots of different places. Dance music to R&B and also more traditional bands, which means we’ve ended up with a weird, psychedelic cocktail of electronic and organic sound. It’s probably easier to just have a listen really.
Could you give us a brief history of Glass Animals?
Well… there are four of us. Ed’s the tallest. We grew up together from the age of about thirteen as we went to the same school, and we would hang out because we were all really into music. Then, one much more recent winter, I showed Drew (guitarist/synth man/backing vocalist) some tracks and we worked on them in my garden shed, and put them on MySpace and told the other guys they had to be in our band.
Can you tell us what your first ever gig was like?
It was great! A shambles, but a fun shambles. We played the venue across the street from our house in Oxford called Jericho Tavern, where Radiohead played their first ever gig.
And what’s a Glass Animals show like now?
Better. I hope. I think a lot of people hear the music and think we’re probably one or two guys triggering things on laptops. But there’s none of that. There are four of us, and lots of guitars, synths, drum kits and trippy dancing. There is quite a lot of bass too. If you like having your internal organs shaken then we’re probably ideal. We wanted to make the live show different to just listening to the recordings, so we mix things up a little bit.
The Leaflings EP recently came out, what was the inspiration behind it and what’s the story?
I was living partly in south London while writing Leaflings, and was going to lots of local grimy bass music clubs. We also had a studio space in the woods in Oxford. The things I heard and saw in both of those places influenced the music and the lyrics.
How did you go about writing/recording/making it?
Most of it was written and recorded in a bedroom. As much as we possibly could. Then for things we couldn’t record well ourselves like drums and guitars we went to a lovely studio in North London called Eastcote. Great stories from that place. They’ve got one of Bob Marley’s old mixing desks!
Are more recordings coming up? An album, maybe?
Mayyyybeeeee. We’re very busy over here. we just released a mixtape of remixes we made. More things soon…
The ‘Cocoa Hooves’ video has a lot of slugs in it. Why?
They’re weirdly beautiful aren’t they? And a bit disgusting. Slugs are special to glass animals.
How did you come up with the song ‘Cocoa Hooves’, and what does the title mean?
I had a nap on a bus from London to Oxford, and when I woke up, the vocal line was spinning around my head. I recorded that as soon as I got home and the rest just followed… it was a fun one… it came together pretty quickly!
Do you have any major influences that have made an impact on your sound?
As a band we listen to a huge range of different things from classical to cheesy pop, but there are a couple musicians out there we all agree on. Flying Lotus, Burial, Radiohead, Animal Collective to name a couple.
What music are you loving right now?
Really digging a young UK producer called Happa. Also been listening to the new Dirty Projectors record and the new Beach House quite a lot.
If you had to sum up the band in three words, what would they be?
‘Occult bunny lagoon’ says Drew, delicately.
What are your hopes and aspirations for the next year?
To have fun making cool music. It would be great to play more shows, and see some more beautiful places. And meet lots of cool people. 2013 is going to be exciting! We’re totally stoked!
Leaflings EP is available now via Kaya Kaya Records, and the band can be caught at the following UK dates:
06 – London – Heaven w/ Chromatics
11 – Bristol – Fear of Fiction Festival