Delayed Album Launch Present – Billboard

When Dave Bayley was brainstorming his preferrred album launch present to launch his band Glass Animals’ third album, Dreamland, final week’s two exhibits on the 6,000-capacity Brooklyn Mirage have been every thing he may have dreamed of and extra: Hundreds of followers screaming again each phrase, so loud on crossover smash “Warmth Waves” that you just couldn’t even hear Bayley sing. A video display greater than you would see peripherally. A number of rooms related to the venue bringing the album’s cowl artwork aesthetic and stage design to life.



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However Bayley, who was engaged on album launch present plans way back to early 2020, in all probability wasn’t anticipating them to happen in August 2022 – nearly precisely two years after the album was launched. 

The COVID-19 pandemic hit because the English indie pop quartet have been on a U.S. tour of small venues, which noticed them road-testing a few of the songs that may find yourself on Dreamland. On the time, they have been finalizing plans for a a lot bigger tour to coincide with the album’s launch, full with an formidable stage setup and design – however the band, like the remainder of us, have been pressured into quarantine.

“I truthfully thought it was going to be two weeks,” Bayley remembers. “We put every thing in a truck and requested the truck to attend till we obtained again. We didn’t come again.”

Issues have been simply beginning to kick into gear for that bigger tour, says Dan Hill, a design associate at Cassius Inventive, a lighting and manufacturing company that labored with the band to develop their stage design for the tour. Hill, together with associate Chris “Squib” Swain, has additionally labored with Liam Gallagher, Dua Lipa, Foals, Arlo Parks and others.

“It obtained to the purpose with manufacturing and design that it was all customized and about to be made,” Hill says. “I believe it was a couple of week away from making an area’s price of huge set items, like enormous, large-scale stuff.”

Glass Animals

Glass Animals

Drew Perez

On Might 10, 2020, Bayley wrote on Instagram when asserting Glass Animals’ third album, “I spent weeks devastated that our large plans to carry this album to you in actual life on a stage have been shattered.” The band didn’t even get to lastly play the songs from Dreamland in entrance of an actual, in-person viewers for a yr and a half.

Introduced a pair weeks beforehand, the band’s first present again ended up being on a makeshift stage within the car parking zone at the back of a bar in Carrboro, North Carolina, a small city of 21,000. The gig was meant to be a take a look at present of types forward of a significant North American tour kicking off in August 2021, the goldilocks interval after the COVID-19 vaccine was first accessible. However after a yr that noticed the band’s profile start to rise significantly, it was additionally the primary time they obtained to see how followers would react reside to the then not-so-new-anymore album’s tracks. It wasn’t how they deliberate it, however it was extraordinarily emotional.

“We simply wished to be as low profile as doable, simply dip our toes again within the water,” Bayley says. “I believe that was the primary present again for lots of people. It was only a concrete area and there have been buildings throughout us. I don’t suppose an enormous quantity occurs in Carrboro, North Carolina, and all of the individuals have been crammed on prime of the buildings. I believe we offered a pair hundred tickets, however the entire city turned up. You can see individuals dancing on rooftops miles off.”

Although the Brooklyn Mirage exhibits, dubbed Dreamland.IRL, have been a lot greater than the one in Carrboro final yr, that kind of power has solely gotten extra infectious. Bayley, guitarist Drew MacFarlane, bassist Edmund Irwin-Singer and drummer Joe Seaward fed off the group, operating and dancing everywhere in the stage as their followers ate all of it up.

It wasn’t simply the band that upped the ante for these two gigs, but in addition the band’s crew as nicely. In an area related to the venue, they introduced the viewers straight into the world of Dreamland, with a number of rooms doused in purple and pink hues showcasing the objects usually adorning the stage — some even straight from the album cowl artwork, like a large neon basketball hoop and pool signal — for followers to take photos with. It was a approach to flip the band’s imaginative and prescient, initially created by way of 3D printing, to life. “It wanted to be actual and immersive,” Hill says.

Maybe much more spectacular was the venue’s wraparound video display through the present, managed by Alex Noel, the band’s touring reside director. As a result of Glass Animals don’t use backing tracks throughout their exhibits, the video programming all occurred reside, utilizing expertise that nobody had ever used on this scale.

“Mainly they stated it was going to be an excessive amount of for any giant variety of computer systems to deal with,” Noel says. “The entire video content material was created in actual time because the present was occurring, from a constructed scene operating in primarily a online game. The entire components inside the entire video content material was managed from a reside lighting desk that I used to be working.”

The exhibits capped off a magical and irritating two years for Glass Animals, because the group reached ranges of recognition they may by no means have dreamed of, all whereas contending with a lethal pandemic. However one factor’s for positive, the Dreamland.IRL exhibits have been extra far-reaching than what they have been planning in 2020: “In a approach, it’s nice having it on the finish as a result of we may make it greater and extra formidable than we ever initially imagined,” the band’s supervisor Amy Morgan says. “However initially, it was rather a lot smaller and we deliberate to carry it to extra locations. I hope we will do this subsequent time.”

It’s clear that these exhibits wouldn’t have been this large if not for the dangers the band and its staff have been keen to take as a direct results of the COVID-19 pandemic, permitting Bayley and Morgan to be artistic and throw concepts on the wall, nearly all of which labored out on a staggering scale.

“Nobody’s left a guidebook behind on easy methods to launch an album in a pandemic,” Bayley says. “But in addition as a result of there was no rulebook, there was no highway that was usually taken. Nobody on the label knew easy methods to put out an album in a pandemic so that they have been like, ‘What do you wish to do?’ I may do mad issues like put all of the stems for all of the songs on the web without spending a dime and so they have been like, ‘Fuck it, we don’t have any concepts proper now. We don’t understand how to do that, so you’ve gotten free rein.’ And it was kind of wonderful.”

The band and Morgan have been in a position to attempt what Bayley calls “experiments,” every thing from quarantine cowl periods on Instagram Reside to releasing a music with facial recognition software program, giving followers entry to the identical 3D printed objects on the album’s cowl artwork (which later graced the stage of the Dreamland tour and the immersive Dreamland.IRL expertise) to performing a meticulously designed livestreamed set.

“While you get again that type of artistic power and suggestions from individuals, that’s what was retaining me going,” Bayley says. “I’d be so excited to get up and see what individuals had made with the art work.”

A whole lot of the band’s outreach to followers was borne from the darkest months of the pandemic. Like the remainder of us, Bayley missed human connection, channeling it into an ever-deepening relationship with the band’s rising followers. That led to the band reaching increased peaks than ever earlier than, together with the gradual, gorgeous rise of their biggest-ever music, “Warmth Waves.”

The band knew the music — someway the fourth single from the album — was doing nicely, seeing because it was their first single to ever hit the Billboard Scorching 100 chart. However its sluggish rise to No. 1 after 59 weeks on the chart, the longest climb in chart historical past, was surprising to say the least. At present at No. 14 on the Scorching 100, it’s loved the fifth-longest prime 10 run in chart historical past — and is presently simply 9 weeks away from breaking the report for longest period of time on the chart basically, having caught round for 82 complete weeks up to now.

It hasn’t actually even sunk in for the band: “I definitely haven’t sat down for a second and thought of how that music has [changed] and can change our lives,” Bayley says.

The group was additionally nominated for finest new artist on the 2022 Grammys, a nomination they heard about earlier than a present in Dublin, the identical metropolis the place, three and a half years earlier, drummer Seaward suffered a catastrophic bicycle accident, derailing the band’s tour on the time to assist him recuperate and later straight influencing Dreamland. However Bayley examined optimistic for COVID-19 the morning of the awards ceremony and the band didn’t find yourself attending. (They misplaced to Olivia Rodrigo.)

Glass Animals’ final two and a half years have confirmed that good issues actually do come to those that wait: Bayley talks at size about feeling like everybody was in a strain cooker for that yr plus with out exhibits, simply heating up, ready to lastly let unfastened, dance and sing as soon as once more. “The strain cooker exploded and the quantity of the voices singing each phrase, it floored me,” he remembers when pondering again to these first handful of exhibits on final yr’s tour.

That power from the followers simply will get an increasing number of intense because the crowds proceed to swell and the band’s profile retains rising. On the first night time of the Brooklyn Mirage “Dreamland.IRL” exhibits final week, Bayley hung out between a number of songs simply soaking all of it in and basking within the glow of 6,000 adoring followers. 

“I’m so glad we lastly obtained to do that!” Bayley exclaimed onstage after thanking the band’s crew, label and supervisor (even prompting an “AMY! AMY! AMY!” chant for Morgan). “We’ll always remember this one!”

“I felt like I used to be floating the entire time,” he says two days later. And with the band’s large success clawing out of the pandemic, it’s secure to say he in all probability received’t be coming down anytime quickly.

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