Foals’ first of two 2019 albums takes the band further and further into the wilderness

Foals’ first of two 2019 albums takes the band further and further into the wilderness

Words by Dan Watt

Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1, the fifth studio album from British four-piece Foals is a peerless sonic document that is truly reflective of the zeitgeist. The record makes a strong case for consensus that Foals are an era defining rock band.  

Opening track ‘Moonlight’ is poignant yet over-bloated and indulgent, but it was this same over-bloated and indulgent formula that thrust Foals into the limelight back in 2010, with their track ‘Spanish Sahara’.

Enter track two of the record, ‘Exits’ which sees the group at their absolute best so far. The song is driven by a crisp, dancefloor-oriented drum beat reminiscent of their 2013 banger ‘My Number’, providing the perfect structure for Yannis Philippakis to drape his vocals across. Despite the song’s long run time of almost six minutes, at no point does the energy wane.

Don’t feel out of touch if you still associate Foals with nu-rave, a la a warehouse party in 2012 full of hipsters wearing non-prescription reading glasses who all brag about being a contributor for Vice. The reality is that back then these were Foals’ people. The band toured endlessly with electronic acts and the wiley Philippakis, sensing a buck to be made, was always popping up for Foals DJ sets.

Then there were the endless remixes of ‘Spanish Sahara’, a powerful cultural impression conspiring to implant a persistent notion in the mind of music fans that came to the following conclusion; nu-rave is associated with Foals, therefore they must produce that style of music.

But follow this belief at your peril because Foals – in every sense if the word except for the geological sense – rock.