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Glass Animals’ ‘Heat Waves’ hits top of US charts after longest ever ascent

The 2020 track hit Number One this week, a huge 59 weeks after it first charted on the Billboard Hot 100

By Will Richards

Glass Animals pose on the BRIT Awards red carpet after receiving two nominations in 2022
Glass Animals. (Picture: John Marshall/JMEnternational)

Glass Animals have broken a US chart record, with their song ‘Heat Waves’ topping the Billboard Hot 100 after the longest ascent in history.

The Oxford band‘s hit single came out in 2020 ahead of the release of third album ‘Dreamland’, and its 59 week climb to Number One dwarfs the previous record held by Mariah Carey, whose Christmas classic ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ took 35 weeks to hit top spot.

“I absolutely can’t believe it,” the band’s singer, songwriter and producer Dave Bayley told fans on Twitter via Billboard. “For it to do this means the absolute world.”

He added: “This song came out at the beginning of the pandemic and we didn’t think it would really go anywhere because of that, and it has because you guys have embraced it so much.”

At last month’s BRIT Awards 2020 in London, Bayley and his Glass Animals bandmates Joe Seaward, Ed Irwin-Singer and Drew MacFarlane told Rolling Stone UK that they are still reeling from the sleeper hit success of ‘Heat Waves’.

Last month, Glass Animals became the first British group to top Spotify’s global songs chart with the song (originally released in June 2020), garnering 4.26 million plays per day on the streaming platform. Some of the song’s success stemmed from being used in a recent TikTok trend.

In 2020, the single failed to break into the UK Top 40 or US Billboard Hot 100 but has since climbed the charts, peaking at Number Five in the UK, Number One in Australia and Number Three in the US. It also holds the record for the longest climb to the Top Five in US chart history.

“It’s been the craziest, craziest couple of years – like a proper rollercoaster,” Bayley said of their ballooning success, also mentioning drummer Seaward’s remarkable recovery from a 2018 road accident. Glass Animals are also nominated for Best New Artist at this year’s Grammys.

“There were many points where I didn’t think this project [their third album, ‘Dreamland’] was going to make it,” he added, referencing in part the difficulties of working amid the COVID pandemic.

‘Heat Waves’ was nominated for Song Of The Year at the 2022 BRITs, with the band also nominated for Best Rock/Alternative act.