When Glass Animals frontman Dave Bayley first posted the band’s R&B-laced indie-pop demos online in 2010, the response was immediate and favorable, prompting him to quickly take the songs down. Come again? The truth was that Bayley was pursuing his medical degree, and like a good English chap, he didn’t want to get too wrapped up in all of this music hoo-ha.
Two years later, with studies complete, it was time for Glass Animals, Take 2. The Oxford group, comprising Bayley (second from right in photo) and three of his high-school mates, reemerged, its hypnotic blend of smooth electronic grooves and funkified indie rock prompting comparisons to Alt-J and Wild Beasts and attracting the attention of Radiohead’s Colin Greenwood. Powerhouse producer Paul Epworth, whose list of cohorts (Adele, Florence and the Machine, Foster the People) reads like a who’s who of crossover darlings, also took notice, welcoming Glass Animals to his spiffy new label. A tour with St. Vincent commenced earlier this year, followed by the band’s debut album, Zaba—a lush, intricately crafted effort, deftly balancing bass-heavy tropical rhythms and Bayley’s airy croon. The gents play a sold-out Bowery show on their U.S. tour, and for anyone who believes there are no second chances in life, you may want to come see how it’s done.—Kristen Zwicker