It’s animal magic

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Glass Animals have blasted their way to the top of thousands of Spotify playlists this year, and it's not hard to see why.

Their single, Hazy, is a delicious mix of heady sounds, textures and beats. Somehow it mixes Calypso beats with Massive Attack-like chimes and even jungle sounds.

Indeed, Glass Animals' album, Zaba, is as much for the head to take in as it is for the ears.

And this is all the more fitting when you consider that the band's brainchild, Dave Bayley, is actually a Kings College neuroscientist.

"I was studying medicine but I left half way through to pursue the band and I never went back. I finished with a neuroscience degree instead."

And Bayley’s approach to writing music is almost as cerebral as his neuroscience.

“I write twice as much as I need to when I write a song as I like to go away, think about it and then come back to it. I often end up stripping things back.”

The initial idea for a song can strike Bayley at any point.

“I’ll have a sound, a vocal melody, a chord or a riff in my head and often it will be in the middle of the night so I have a little guitar near my bed. I often end up messing around with chords or recording into a hand-held recorder in the middle of the night.”

“I think it happens this way but it’s only when I go to bed that I relax and I think it’s then that your ideas come.”

But, like any artist, Bayley does worry about the prospect of ideas drying up.

“It is a petrifying thought, to think you could run out of ideas. But I think there are ways to keep them alive, like making yourself write a song with a totally different instrument, that forces you to think differently and come up with new ideas.”

The richness of Glass Animals’ sound is partly owing to its instrumentation, which includes guitars, bass guitar, ‘electronic stuff’ - as Bayley describes it, drum kits and tambourine. "You have to love the tambourine," he quips.

“We all work together to make music. I take a skeleton demo to the band and we all thrash it out.”

Glass Animals have made their mark already, with a whopping 20 million streams to date and even support from Radiohead bassist Colin Greenwood.

“He was curating a night at a local venue in Oxford and put us on - it was great to meet him”

The band are touring America at the moment, and writing new material while they are on the move.

“We will be releasing some of that in due course but also working on some remixes. But we are also constantly working on our live show - we want to create a lot of atmosphere. I like the idea of playing a show that creates a sort of suspension of disbelief."

l However unbelievable, Glass Animals will bring their heady repertoire to The Plug, Matilda Street on Thursday, October 16.