By Livy Jenkins
Glass Animals were an incredibly exciting proposition for press, but also presented a huge challenge. There were massive expectations for the band, but press had been miles behind on the last campaign, and there had been very little coverage outside of a few key specialist titles. Not only was it our job to catch-up, but ensure the band got the credibility they deserved, while finding fans in the music media to champion them.
The first instance was introducing single ‘Life Itself’ alongside communicating their amazing international story over the course of the past album campaign. Everyone needed to know how big they were, so when we serviced ‘Life Itself’, we also included that the band had hit over 200 million streams on Spotify, which gave us a great opening story that we ran exclusively on Music Business Worldwide for all the industry and music media to see. The track reacted well at press and we had placements with NME, DIY, Music Week, Metro and The Sun.
We started sending music out very early to tell the story of the album as it was so unique - just a couple of weeks after we had sent out the first single. We wanted people to live with the record, but also have time to contact music, broadsheet, tabloid and freelancers to make sure we had as many fans as we could at media. I spent hours on the phone, calling people and asking them to listen to the record and telling people their story in person. I feel this was absolutely key in securing the press we had, rather than just communicating to media via email.
For the album we had an NME feature (alongside a full page 4* review), an i newspaper feature, DORK cover feature (+ 4* album review) and DIY feature (+ 4* album review), as well as 4* album reviews in The Guardian, Metro, Financial Times and a 9/10 album review in Mix Mag.
However, it wasn’t just about the album campaign with Glass Animals. We had to continue this traction over the course of the year, to keep momentum up for other areas and also establish them as one of the British Breakthrough bands of 2016.
To keep the band “cool”, we did a two page style feature in Notion in October which impacted around the Roundhouse show. We also had 4* live reviews from The Independent, DORK and DIY, as well as a lot of chatter on socials from the other journalists that attended.
By the end of the year, the band were in NME, The Independent (and i), DIY and DORK albums of 2016 lists. We’d also completed style features with Rollacoaster and Fault to drop around March.
All eyes were on the Brixton show from the beginning of the year. We had got to a stage where people were fascinated by Dave Bayley (lead singer), and had a full page Metro ‘My Tech’ feature run at the start of the year. It was evident now that press were on board with the band, we had previews for the tour in Time Out, NME (3 times), The i (5 times), Metro, The Sun and another track placement in The Times.
We had huge interest for the Brixton show, finding fans who we knew were aware, but hadn’t written about them. The Times and Telegraph reviewed (with brilliant write-ups), and after a year of persistence with Q, the magazine came down and loved the show. So much so, in fact, the next day they commissioned a 4-6 page feature with the band which will be running in the next issue.
Glass Animals has been a lesson in persistence. Knowing when to push and when not to push was key in this campaign. Telling their amazing story, as well as their fascinating writing process and the genius that is Dave Bayley has been the driving force behind this campaign. We’re in a place now where we have tons of genuine fans at press, as well as being aware that media now see them as a band they should be writing about. And too right, too, they’re an incredible band and finally getting the media recognition they deserve that should support them through a long term career for years to come.