Tone Deft

“How To Be A Human Being” by Glass Animals

By Hanna Schindler
On September 8, 2016

Relatively new Oxford, England-based indie, synth-pop band Glass Animals, released their sophomore album “How To Be A Human Being” on Aug. 26. 

With an even more concrete and refreshingly unique sound than their debut album, the group is surely looking at a second round of whirlwind touring and festival gigs. 

After the release of the group’s debut album “Zaba” in 2014, the shoes they had to fill for their sophomore LP were considerably large. “Zaba” gave the group near automatic fandom, securing them a showcase at SXSW, putting them on the touring circuit in the U.S. and Europe and getting them on stage at some of the biggest festivals in the U.S. like Austin City Limits and Lollapalooza. 

With that being said, I was anticipating how “How To Be A Human Being” would elaborate on their established smooth eclecticism. Upon listening to the opening track, “Life Itself,” I immediately knew this album would not only expand on their up-beat, melodic sound, but also incorporate new experimental elements, as a sophomore album should. 

As I continued through the track list, that notion was only solidified with every song that seemingly encompasses a different theme, story and sound, which come together to make a cohesive artistic presentation.

The album makes you want to dance your butt off to say the least. With undeniably banging hip-hop and R&B influences you can hear clean hi-hats and smooth beats that accompany melodies don't leave you alone even after the listening has ended.

Not only is this album instrumentally exploratory and aesthetically pleasing, the lyricism on this album is far deeper than “Zaba.” Although the motifs of the album are nothing avant garde, they explore some of the major existentialist tenants and through storytelling, tell what it can mean to be human as the title would suggest.

The way that these commonly considered themes are covertly incorporated within this “dancy” powerhouse of an album, however, it’s what makes it so interesting and sets it apart from "Zaba."

What this album equates to is a step towards an elaborate expansion of the Glass Animals, which we know from “Zaba.” Not only can every song stand alone in a crowd of eclecticism, but together form a continuity of thematics that showcase just how much curation went into “How To Be A Human Being,” which is perhaps a theme of the album all on it’s own.

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