EVERYTHING NOT SAVED WILL BE LOST – PART 1 OUT TODAY
ALBUM OF THE WEEK –4.5/5 – The Herald Sun
“The spiritual heir to Radiohead’s OK Computer.”***** – Metro
“Foals’ best album to date.”***** – NME
“Arguably the band that best encapsulates modern alternative rock.” 5/5 – The Independent
“As inspiring as it is urgent.”9/10 Clash
“Impeccably executed.”10/10 Gigwise
“Foals’ definitive statement.”***** DIY
“Chock-full of tunes.” ****
From playing chaotic house parties in their home city of Oxford to becoming major festival headliners across Europe, Foals’ trajectory has been remarkable. They’ve earned critical acclaim and fan devotion in equal measure. And while the majority of contemporaries have fallen by the wayside, Foals continue to hit new peaks.
After more than a decade in the game, Foals again embrace that love for the unconventional with the bravest and most ambitious project of their career: not one, but two astonishing new albums: Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost. A pair of releases, separate but related, they share a title, themes and artwork. Part 1is out now, with Part 2following in the Spring.
“They’re two halves of the same locket,” frontman Yannis Philippakis explains. “They can be listened to and appreciated individually, but fundamentally, they are companion pieces.”
Profoundly tethered but possessing their own personalities, the two bodies capture the most compelling, ambitious and cohesive creations that Foals – completed by JimmySmith (guitar), JackBevan (drums) and EdwinCongreave (keys) – have ever produced.
Eager to break the traditional pop song structure, the 20 tracks defy expectation. There are exploratory, progressive-tinged tracks which occasionally break the 10-minute mark alongside atmospheric segues which make the music an experience rather than a mere collection of songs. Yet the band’s renowned ability to wield relentless grooves with striking power also reaches new heights.
The three tracks which have previewed Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part1 demonstrate the variety and emotional resonance of a band operating at the pinnacle of its powers. First singleExits was anthemic and ominous, while On The Luna stirred strident grooves and skyscraping hook with sparkling synths and clattering cowbell. And Sundayaccentuated the feeling that Everything Not Saved Will Be Lostwill cement Foals’ status as one of the world’s most important bands.
The album title is a warning that anything – from the tiniest fleeting moment of inspiration through to the planet’s own biological diversity – can be under threat of being irrevocably erased.
It’s a theme that permeates throughout the albums’ material, as Foals mirror the public neuroses that have been provoked by our current cultural climate. Paranoia of state surveillance? Fear of environmental collapse? An overwhelming feeling of anxiety? It’s all there in these apocalyptic songs.
It’s particularly evident in the euphoric In Degreeswhich imagines a future where your ability to talk to each other has been reduced to nothing. This approach is perhaps most vividly captured on Syrups, and the devastating closing pair of songs on Part 1, Sunday and I’m Done With The World (& It’s Done With Me).
“Lyrically, there are resonances with what’s going on in the world at the moment,” summarises Yannis. “I just feel like, what’s the utility of being a musician these days, if you can’t engage with at least some of this stuff? These songs are white flags, or they’re SOSs, or they’re cries for help… each in a different way.”
The new albums’ journeys began as the What Went Down era ended. Founding bassist WalterGervers departed on amicable terms after playing the Festival Paredes de Coura in Portugal in August 2017. Foals felt that he couldn’t be replaced – a decision that ushered in a period of recalibration, reorganisation and, ultimately, rejuvenation.
After taking a little time out, Foals reconvened with Yannis on production duties, who, together with Edwin, also covered the bass parts. They began by writing in a rehearsal space before exporting those sketches into the recording phase at 123 Studios, Peckham, with the assistance of engineer BrettShaw. They’d repeat the cycle between the two spaces, effectively creating an ongoing feedback loop as they sought to push every new idea to the finish line.