“Heat Waves” is the fourth single from UK-based band Glass Animals’ 2020 studio album ‘Dreamland.’ The moody song became the band’s most successful single to date, appearing at #19 on Billboard Hot 100 Chart.
Releasing the album, Glass Animals explained the inspiration behind “Heat Waves” on Apple Music 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, f*ck.’ All of the lyrics play into that—mirages, hallucinations, things like that.”
Glass Animals released a music video for the song and also explained the meaning behind the visuals on YouTube;
“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.”
Combining all these elements, the song is about living in the moment. There will be things that cannot be changed and letting go of these things. You will also never be able to make everyone happy all the time. If you try, you lose touch with who you are. Be yourself and let every other piece fall in place.
Listen to “Heat Waves” by Glass Animals
Glass Animals “Heat Waves” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review
In the melancholy start to the song, the singer talks about the mirages that occur on heated road surfaces.
Road shimmer wigglin’ the vision
Heat, heat waves, I’m swimmin’ in a mirror
These wiggly lines on roads appear when the roads get heated from the Sun and the layer of air above the roads gets heated and moves upwards. These mirages often blur the vision.
In the chorus of the song, the singer talks about how his mind reels back to the old days sometimes.
Sometimes, all I think about is you
Late nights in the middle of June
Heat waves been fakin’ me out
Can’t make you happier now
The middle of June is usually the hottest time on Earth in most parts of the world. The singer lays in his bed, unable to sleep because he is thinking about a lover he had once. He knows the past is the past now and there is nothing you can do to make it right. Just the fact that he is thinking about this now makes no sense. But he credits his out-of-control thoughts to the heat in June which he pretends to have the same mirage effect on his brain as does it on the roads. The heat has fried his brain to be losing sleep over the past mistakes. No matter how much he thinks about the past, he cannot make her happier now! He has already foregone his chance to make her happy and to save their relationship.
In the first verse of the song, the singer talks about how he usually distracts himself after they broke up some time ago. He puts on the TV hoping that something on it can take his mind off of her. It often serves the purpose. But when the heat waves get too much and his brain is fried, even the characters on the TV remind him of them. This is a very common aftereffect of a breakup. Everything seems to remind of them being in love.
The singer tries to shake himself back to the present. He understands that she deserved better. She wanted things that he could never provide her. So, breaking up was the best decision for both of them.
In the second verse, the singer talks even more about their devastating breakup. The friction between them only grew no matter what they tried to fix it. They came to a point where they felt as if being sucked the life out of them.
You look so broken when you cry
One more and then I’ll say goodbye
Watching someone you love cry is one of the worst feelings ever. He has no heart to let her go when she breaks down on his shoulder. Maybe one more day or one more kiss or one more hug could make it less worse for them?! It usually never is.
Let us hear your similar experiences in the comments below. What was your solution?
Check out the complete lyrics on Genius.