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There is something undeniably sleek about Zaba, the debut LP from British four piece Glass Animals. The illustrious quartet are pushing genre boundaries, parading an intricate sound that sits somewhere between indie and trip-hop, throwing some R&B in for good measure.
The album opens with the hazy samples of Flip, which neatly grow into a huge sonic jangling of dynamic beats and unrelenting synth. It’s a voracious undertaking of intricate sounds, leaving you hungry for what’s coming next.
Tribal rhythms cleverly tie the second and third tracks together. There’s something to be said about how effortlessly each song on this album moves silkily into the next. It’s these finer details that make Zaba feel lived-in, even upon first listen.
Breakout single Gooey takes pride of place in the middle of the tracklist. It’s a true powerhouse, with perfectly executed minimalist beats and smoother than smooth slow-jam vocals. Not to mention those slinky, downright addictive chorus lyrics. Familiarity aside, Gooey is a definite highlight.
Singer Dave Bayley coils his voice impressively around the spacey and stripped-back instrumentals of Toes. His vocals are persistently fluid yet impulsive and truly lend themselves to the dream-like atmosphere of this whole album.
JDNT is a fitting closer. It slowly pours out all remaining soul into its harmonies, submerging us one last time beneath the warbling synth and suave bass tones.
Zaba is a tidy collection of volatile, ambient sounds, and the band demonstrate a knack for teaming off-beat percussion with impossibly cool R&B bass lines and addictive vocal hooks. It may have been a long wait for this release but now that it’s here we’re really picking up what Glass Animals are putting down.