This Just In: Glass Animals’ “Dreamland” Is a Woozy Trip Down Memory Lane

Dreamland - Glass Animals
Glass Animals’ intimate, woozy song “Dreamland” is an emotional journey down memory lane that invites us to dwell in the depths of Dave Bayley’s mind as he openly explores himself, his past, and his psyche.

Dwelling in ‘Dreamland’: An Intimate Interview with Glass Animals

Stream: “Dreamland” – Glass Animals

Glass Animals have been the bright, shiny object for quite some time, and that hasn’t stopped them from making compelling and novel art; if anything, it’s inspired them to dive deeper and get all the more creative every step of the way. The British band’s first single of the year, “Your Love (Déjà Vu),” found them painting familiar fierce grooves as frontman Dave Bayley sang some of his most direct and his most intimate lyrics to date: “The song is as honest as it gets from Glass Animals, a personal reflection on dysfunction in its darkest, most impactful forms.

That is, until now.  

Dreamland - Glass Animals
‘Dreamland’ single art – Glass Animals
pulling down backstreets
deep in your head
slipping through dreamland like a tourist
pulling down backstreets
deep in your head
slipping through dreamland like a tourist
that first friend you had
that worst thing you said
that perfect moment
that last tear you shed
all you’ve done in bed
all on memorex
all round round your head
all round round your head

Released May 1st, 2020, “Dreamland” arrives as the woozy second single and title track off Glass Animals’ forthcoming third studio album, Dreamland (out July 10, 2020 via Republic Records – pre-order here). Washed-out, vulnerable, and deeply introspective, the song invites us to dwell in the depths of Dave Bayley’s mind as he openly explores himself, his past, and his psyche. It’s a welcome new focus from a songwriter who has so often used other people as his inspiration: With “Dreamland,” we find Bayley opening himself up like never before, spilling his own inner machinations through vivid imagery on a colorful, mesmerizing canvas.

In truth, now is the perfect time for such a poetic dive into the self: “Dreamland” arrives in the midst of a pandemic that has forced nearly the entire global community, save “essential” workers and business, to stay home. It’s a time for reflection on life itself; for looking back on memories of the past, taking stock of where we are and what we have, and cherishing our loved ones.

“Dreamland” finds Bayley slipping into his own crevices, blending past and present reflections in a seemingly stream-of-conscious overhaul of the self:

you’ve had too much
of the digital love
you want everything live
you want things you can touch
make it feel like a movie
you saw in your youth
make it feel like that song
that just unopened you
you were 10 years old
holding hands in the classroom
he had a gun
on the first day of high school
you want something bizarre
old conceptual cars
you want girls dressed in drag
you want boys with guitars

“The idea for this album came at a time of confusion and uncertainty,” Bayley explains. “My best friend was in the hospital. I didn’t know if he’d make it. The future was damn scary and completely unknown. During those weeks in the hospital, it was so difficult to look forwards that I found myself looking backwards. Digging around in my mind, pulling up old memories, finding comfort in them even if they were uncomfortable in themselves. Speaking to friends and family, I’ve realised that a lot of people are experiencing a similar sort of confusion now. Everything that we thought we could see clearly in front of us has been thrown into the air, and all the while, we can’t be out finding our footing. We can’t be out creating new memories, so… we’re diving back head-first into the old ones. I hear that in conversations. I see it in what people are watching on TV. In what we’re listening to. In what we’re eating. In dreams.”

We can’t be out creating new memories, so… we’re diving back head-first into the old ones.

Glass Animals © Pooneh Ghana
Glass Animals © Pooneh Ghana

Glass Animals’ “Dreamland” is heavy and heartfelt, a nuanced emotional journey that aches with the weight of memory and meaning.

It’s a sensitive adventure beckoning us back down our own timelines: “pulling down backstreets deep in your head,” Bayley sings. “slipping through dreamland like a tourist.” You never know what you’ll find until you get there – a spectator of your own life, a pseudo déjà vu, a fly on the memory wall. Sometimes, it’s easier to bask in the past, than to be in the present.

We could not ask for a better backdrop to this conversation about being, emotion, and the human condition. Dreams are where we thrive, and where we fall; where our fantasies run wild, and where we’re reunited with those we’ve lost. They are a safe space for imagination and creativity, and also for experiencing emotional extremes.

'Dreamland' album artwork - Glass Animals
‘Dreamland’ album artwork – Glass Animals

Bayley explains that Dreamland “goes through many of the most confusing moments in my life. It’s about growing up, from my first memories as a little kid to now. Quite often those moments are funny, sometimes awkward, sometimes heart-breaking, sometimes it’s about love or hate or sexuality. It’s about realising it’s ok to not have answers and it’s ok to not know how you feel about things and that it’s ok to be and look vulnerable. In fact, all of that is quite exciting. So often life asks us for binary yes or no answers. It asks us to conform and to fit in. But the world is so much more interesting and colourful than that… it’s a much more fluid and uncertain place.”

you see kodachrome
you see pink and gold
you see mulholland glow
you see in airplane mode
all round round your head
all round round your head
all round round your head
all round round your head
you float in the pool
where the soundtrack is canned
you go ask your questions
like what makes a man
oh it’s 2020
so it’s time to change that
so you go make an album
and call it dreamland

The Fragile, Overwhelming Power of Glass Animals’ “Agnes”


“Dreamland” arrives alongside a spectacular, dreamy music video put together entirely by Dave Bayley himself in self-quarantine. Much like its sonic counterpart, this visual offers a hypnotic and intimate space for personal quiet time. Hazy, colorful, and visually stimulating, the film allows us to join Bayley on a lone journey through his past; the sights and sounds of the song come to life with provocative charm as Glass Animals once again hit home – and hit home hard.

Whether you’re looking for a lush sonic daydream or a poetic, vulnerable outpouring, Glass Animals’ “Dreamland” will dazzle, inspire, and help you feel a little less alone in these dark, lonely times. Bayley, Joe Seaward, Ed Irwin-Singer, and Drew MacFarlane have once again returned in a big way, and the result is simply beautiful.

Glass Animals’ Dreamland is out July 10, 2020.

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:: stream/purchase “Dreamland” here ::
Stream: “Dreamland” – Glass Animals

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