Dave Bayley the frontman of Oxford’s psychedelic indie pop band Glass Animals, recounts a chaotic period for the band.

TWO years ago, Glass Animals drummer Joe Seaward collided with a lorry while cycling in Dublin. His leg was broken, and his skull was fractured, and the band was left not knowing ‘whether he was going to survive or even talk or walk again’.

But following neurosurgery, he made an astonishing recovery, regaining his speech and rejoining the psychedelic-pop band for a series of emotionally charged gigs.

Singer Bayley studied neuroscience at university and so had some understanding of the seriousness of his friend's injuries.

He remained at his friend’s bedside after the crash and it is the trauma from this accident that is reflected in Glass Animals' third album, Dreamland.

Oxford Mail:

Bayley said: "I was lying to his parents for quite a long time, I was saying 'Oh, it's absolutely fine, he's going to be totally fine, don't worry.'

"But really inside I was like 'He's probably never going to play the drums again'."

The four-piece indie band was formed by Bayley in Oxford in 2010 with childhood friend Seaward, Ed Irwin-Singer and Drew MacFarlane.

It was memories of starting the band and his early years living in the small city of College Station, Texas, that began to emerge as he sat at Seaward's bedside.

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Bayley said: "You're not doing anything new or having new experiences so what you start to do, with all the adrenaline of waiting for news, you end up going really deep into memory and the past, and reliving old experiences."

Dreamland is more intimate than its Mercury Prize-nominated predecessor, 2016's How To Be A Human Being.

Oxford Mail:

It tackles the cost of toxic masculinity and documents the nervous excitement of a flourishing relationship.

The question of whether Joe Seaward would ever play again forced the band to face existential questions– could they continue to play as Glass Animals without him?

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"We basically didn't know whether he was going to survive, or even if he was going to recover enough to talk or walk again. That led to questions about the band continuing at all. The future seemed pretty bleak."

However, Dreamland is an album brimming with optimism and nostalgia and it is named after the lead singers’ tendency to daydream in class as a schoolboy.

Explaining the title, he recalls a favourite teacher in Texas who used to tell him "Dave, get out of dreamland!”

Since 2015 Bayley has worked with rap royalty like Joey Bada$$, Wale and, more recently, Denzel Curry in Tokyo Drifting, which features on Dreamland.

The day dreaming has not stopped for Bayley, he said: "After Joe had his accident I was always drifting off and going on these weird little ... holidays."

He added: "I did find again when the lockdown started that I was having really crazy dreams."

Glass Animals' plans may have been disrupted, but the conditions of lockdown have created the perfect environment for the album's release.