“Heat Waves” is the fourteenth track from English group of Glass Animals and their third studio album “Dreamland”, which was released on the 29th of June 2020. Frontman Dave Bayley wrote and produced the electro-rap-pop song.
On the day of the release of “Heat Waves”, Bayley took to Twitter to explain the meaning behind the track:
“HEAT WAVES IS OUT NOW. it’s about realising you can’t make everyone happy. and realising it’s ok to be defeated by something. we are often expected to ‘be strong’ and to swallow our sadness. failing to do that is seen as weakness. so we try to cover up our feelings and hide inside of TV shows or video games or drink or drugs. but being vulnerable should be a positive thing. there was a review in a big publication we got early on that said i was ‘too effeminate’ because of the way I sang and that that was weak and gross. its 2020. there’s no space for that sh*t anymore. the music video is out too. it’s meant to reference the sentiments in the song…about being defeated and unable to save something…but tweaked the context a little. I’ll do another post about it tomorrow explaining more. i hope you like the song, its a special one to me.”
Bayley further expanded on the meaning in Apple Music’s “Editor’s Notes”:
“It began with a personal experience that everyone has had: A friend starts dating someone and slowly, they change the way they dress. And then the way they talk. And then everything. Eventually it gets to the point where you’re like, ‘Who is that? Where did my friend go?’ Well, this song is about realizing that it’s happened to you, that it’s you that’s changed. You’ve become someone that you aren’t. I was trying to figure out whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but ultimately I think it’s about hitting a wall—a point where you can’t change anymore or you’ll lose the foundation of who you are. You’ll become an attachment for this other person. It’s happened to me and I’ve seen it happen to so many friends. And there’s a moment when you see your reflection and you’re like, ‘Oh, fuck.’ All of the lyrics play into that—mirages, hallucinations, things like that.”
The music video for “Heat Waves” was released alongside the single via Glass Animals’ YouTube channel and was directed by Colin Read. The video shows Bayley walking back and forth through his neighbourhood in East London puling a wagon of TVs. He is being filmed by his neighbours as the video was filmed at the height of lockdown. At the end of the video, Bayley performs the song in an empty theatre, while his bandmates are shown playing a recorded version of the song on small TVs on the stage. Commenting below the video, Bayley left a little note on the intention behind the video:
“this video is a love letter to live music and the culture and togetherness surrounding it. It was filmed at the peak of the lockdown in my neighbourhood in East London by the lovely people who live around me, just using their phones. These are people who are usually out at shows, in galleries, going to cinemas etc. These venues are left empty now, and many of them will not survive. The song is about loss and longing, and ultimately realizing you are unable to save something…and this video is about that but for art, being together, and human contact. Huge love and thank you’s to everyone who got involved and helped out. When everyone was leaning out of their windows filming, I felt that same sense of togetherness and spine-tingling energy that happened at live shows. It made the coldness of performing to an empty room with the band stuck on screens feel even more heart-breaking”. As of mid-May 2021, the video has 23.4 million views and almost 370 thousand likes.
“Heat Waves” is certified:
– Silver in the UK
– Platinum in Canada, New Zealand and the US
– 3x Platinum in Australia
The lyrics to “Heat Waves” can be read here.