Back to the top
zooming-background

Foals

ALBUM RELEASE: Foals- ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost (Part 1)’

WORDS BY: EVE WHITESIDE

This record is one of the most eagerly anticipated in recent years, as the Oxford alternative indie-rock group return with a vengeance after their four year break from releasing music. With the suspense bubbling over during their silent period, the bar was set very high for their comeback. Returning for this year’s tour, with a borrowed bassist from Everything Everything, things are visibly different this time which aptly reflects the state of the world portrayed through this album. The focus is direct and clear: doubt and caution for our threatened planet are saturated throughout the record, and intertwined through every track and lyric.

Our very first glimpse of the record was standout track, Exits, which encapsulates the current state of crisis our planet is in. Front man Philippakis’ brooding vocals echo throughout regarding how completely upside down and fated our world has become as he remarks “I wish I could figure it out, but the world’s upside down”. This track is a statement, possessing the band’s signature sound that sets them apart. With this track and the rest of the album still featuring an array of their familiar confident plucky guitar riffs that were ever-present in What Went Down and Holy Fire – there is a definitive move onto something new and futuristic.

Throughout Syrups there is a prominent striking bass line and slow burning melody, whilst the overall air of the track is ladened with the disappointment of the world. The landscape of the track hinting at the way digitisation has developed and our cities decimated around us – “all the kids have left the towns, foxes howl and preachers bow down”. Similarly, On The Luna features the ominous bridge “we had it all, we didn’t stop to think about it” which echoes the naivety of our nation when facing the issues of climate change – particularly fitting with the tropical February we experienced just a week ago. This is also reflected in the album title itself, with the underlying message to make the most of what you have while you have it, and save it. Despite this underlying message the track itself is simultaneously a classic, feel-good indie anthem.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

The mighty Q @qmagazineuk Photo credit: Alex Lake

A post shared by FOALS (@foals) on

In particular with the high-tempo, urgent and punchy tracks White Onions and In Degrees, there is a certain familiar energy that would sound incredible in a live set. In Degrees stands out as it shows signs of something new from the group, almost as if it could be played in a nightclub. This track in particular showcases Foals’ new sound and versatility, with synthesised grooves featuring heavily throughout. As you reach the end of the record you find yourself experiencing a much more pensive note that exists in Sunday and I’m Done With The World (& It’s Done With Me), both featuring serene melodies and with melancholy piano whilst Philippakis’ vocals take centre stage.

Only Foals could take on the current anguish and frustration currently felt in the world and transform it into something wonderful and euphoric, taking the listener on a journey from beginning to end. As front man Yannis said, we will not witness the full impact of the album until we hear the second part, so until then, to be continued…

Like this? Read up on all of our blog posts HERE 👀

142

SINGLE RELEASE: Foals – ‘On The Luna’

WORDS BY CRAIG HOPKINSON

Foals are back, as though they had never left, and they are here with this very cryptic, cowbell heavy, lyrical conundrum; On The Luna, the second single release taken from the unreleased album, Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1, due to be released 8th March this year.

Packed to the brim with slick and punchy ‘80s keyboard synth sounds, rhythmic lead guitar riffs and that old symbolic rock essential; the cowbell, banging away like a metronome throughout the whole piece – On The Luna is an instant indie rock anthem.

Lyrically,  I am at a complete and utter loss with this song. What the hell are you boys going on about? Although, Foals did very kindly transcribed the lyrics of the song which were then left for us curious enquirers to read in the description of the YouTube video. However, after close inspection of said lyrics, I’m still non-the-wiser. There are a few bread crumbs here and there though, which elude to perhaps a somewhat subtle message in the song. The lines;  “Trump clogging up my computer” and “Agitator. Extricater. Won’t you come evacuate her” lead me to believe this could be some sort of politically driven song, making reference to Trump. But again, I have no clue.

The production, as always with Foals, is anthem inspired and full of awe. Lots of reverb and delay on the heavily layered vocals, tonnes of intonation on the lead guitar and then some very  deep, synthesised pad sounds that give the song its signature, choral effect. They just sound massive. I can hear that they record in an old hall, or a very large room. This also adds to the sound described.

What gives this song its salt has to be the silky voice of lead singer and guitarist, Yannis Philippakis. When a Foals song plays, there tends to be a yearning feeling pulsating from the front-man that is unique to this band and gives them the instant familiarity and the likeability that they now have as an institutionalised U.K. indie band. Welcome back Foals, we missed you!

Like this? Read up on all of our blog posts HERE 👀

50

What Went Down?

WORDS BY HANNAH TINKER

Having formed in Oxford almost fifteen years ago, life for an indie millennial is unimaginable without Foals. Whether it’s that Hummer or Spanish Sahara come to mind whenever you think of the hit coming-of-age series that explained it teenagehood to us – Skins. Or, you spent a long Summer with What Went Down on a repetitive loop: the iconic sound of the five-piece is continually recognisable.

The post-punk tinged debut album Antidotes from the quartet shot the band to fame in 2008, reaching Number 3 in the UK Album Chart and formally putting the ‘math-rock’ sub-genre on the mainstream map. Fourteen years on, social media was rife with their announcement of not only a fifth studio album in the works, but also a sixth this very same year, from the infamous alt-rock group.

Antidotes and the band themselves were a catalyst for this fresh take on indie rock, with a pop-like beat that splattered a burst of colour across the dark independent scene and coaxed it out of the dreary depths it was headed toward. The emergence and rise of acts such as Everything, Everything, and Bombay Bicycle Club (with a young Lucy Rose on backing vocals) saw a new, refreshing electronic twist on indie. Yes, there are still lyrics of love-lost and political anguish but presented with a quirky smile and a synthesiser accompaniment.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Foals @ Citadel Festival #foals #citadel #london #victoriapark #festival #lovebox #summer #band #live #photographer #photography

A post shared by Sam Benjafield (@sambenjafieldphotography) on

Foals’ identity is personified with singles featuring on classic noughties TV shows Misfits and Skins, which featured depictions of wayward teenage nights fueled by hormones and hyperactivity. Perhaps they were picked because they embodied that lifestyle already, as young men in their prime. The now legendary house parties that the band would host after the gigs of their early days, in the Victorian terrace which they inhabited in Oxford were quite rightly, the place to be. It may now be folklore but once upon a time Foals would swoop into the after-parties of local friends and gig-goers, drill out a makeshift version of Antidotes and effervescently accompany attendees until the early hours of the morning. If lucky enough to attend, it could perhaps be compared to Dave Haslam’s early claim to fame that Sonic Youth slept on his floor?

Since the aboriginal days of Foals, they became not uncommon amongst festival lineups and would easily sell-out an arena tour, but will also happily dwell within smaller venues – thus highlighting their adoration for meeting the need of the every-man. Their show is equally glorious whether at Bristol’s SU – The Anson Rooms (2015) – or headlining the world’s largest festival; Glastonbury in 2016. Alongside their two new albums that are quickly approaching us in 2019, they’re once again in their rightful place. Slotted in amongst festival lineups at Truck, INMUSIC, Y Not and what seems like every day-to-day breakdown  – as well as a stand-alone worldwide tour – there’s a buzz around Foals yet again. Though perhaps it never left.

Each time they’re on stage, an audience gyrates to the likes of Two Steps Twice and Inhaler, lip-syncs every word and leaves with a beaming sense of euphoria. Oxford, the city that brought us Radiohead, also brought us Foals, two indisputably British bands that remain amongst music chatter decades after their debut on to the circuit. Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost (parts 1 & 2) will satisfy our quench for more when really we’ve already had so much – but not nearly enough.

Foals relate to your every-man who sailed through their teenage years with Providence as the backdrop, even just twisting to it alone in your bedroom. It’s their history of house parties and comradery with fans that pins them down as an act that we can relate to. “I’m an animal just like you” repeated in Yannis’ signature deep vocals, whilst Jack, Jimmy, and Edwin breakthrough with a feisty calamity of instruments. I for one have had “I’ve seen Foals seven times” “well I’ve seen them ten times” moments, is even witnessing them a claim to fame? They’re like you, they started from nothing and now here they are.

Like this? Read up on all of our blog posts HERE 👀

71

SINGLE RELEASE: Foals – ‘Exits’

WORDS BY MATTHEW PYWELL

Four years on from What Went Down, Foals have returned with not one, but two new albums to be released in 2019! (They do know how to treat us) Titled, Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1 & 2, front-man Yannis Philippakis confirmed with NME that while both records are part of the same project, both albums will have slight stylistic differences, “the first record is probably more keyboard-driven and has slightly more of a new wave feel to it. Then album two has more of the heavier rock frenetic energy.”

The first taste we’ve gotten of Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1, released on March 8th, is the new single Exits. A bold statement from the band, affirming their position to constantly keep on evolving their sound on each new record. Exits paints the picture of a dystopian future, a world gone backwards and flipped entirely on its head. Starting off with a disjointed keyboard rhythm, the track drops instantly from fun to serious, as a temperamental shift leads to petulant and brooding riffs. Then Foals‘ signature keyboards and synthesizers paint a picture of this chaotic and unruly land, through irresistible and vivid grooves, at times sounding like a waterfall of shattered glass.

What impresses me most about this track is how Foals have used song structures that are so familiar to them but have still managed to create a completely fresh and new sound. Exits is a bold statement from a band who show no signs of slowing down or having any lapses in creativity. The continuous evolution that the band goes through is nothing short of remarkable and has made Foals one of the most consistent British bands over the last ten years. And with a new tour and various festival slots booked already, 2019 is shaping up to be Foals‘ year.

Like this? Read up on all of our blog posts HERE 👀

48