The Oxford band's fifth and sixth albums are due in 2019
From sweaty house shows to festival headline slots, Foals’ rise to the top of the British indie pack is a story for the ages. With every release, they’ve fine-tuned their assault. From the spasmodic math-rock of debut album ‘Antidotes’, through to the more danceable textures of ‘Total Life Forever’, onto the anthemic juggernauts of ‘Holy Fire’ and ‘What Went Down’, theirs has been a confident, fired-up progression from record-to-record.
With new material now confirmed for 2019 release – and the band having taken a decidedly out-of-character break from the spotlight after wrapping up the ‘What Went Down’ tour, all eyes are on their next moves. Below, we’ve rounded up everything we know about the return of Foals.
- ‘Exits’, the first single from new album ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost: Part 1’ has been shared.
- Two new records have been confirmed for a 2019 release. (See: When will the new Foals albums be released?)
- The records are called ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost’ parts one and two – coming in March and autumn 2019 respectively. (See: What are the new Foals albums called?)
- In an extensive interview with NME, the band have divulged a number of details on the process behind the albums, the lyrical threads that tie the two together, and the meaning behind ‘Exits’.
What are the new Foals albums called?
An initial teaser video for new Foals material was released on January 10, 2019, accompanied by the statements ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost’, ‘Part 1’ and ‘Part 2’. In an interview in the March 2019 issue of Q Magazine, that was later revealed to be the title of the two records.
When will the new Foals albums be released?
Towards the end of 2018, the band’s new publishers Transgressive confirmed that a new Foals record was set for a 2019 release.
Following the release of that aforementioned teaser trailer, it has been confirmed that by the band that there will be two new records. Q Magazine‘s March 2019 interview has since confirmed that those records are set to arrive on March 8 and in autumn 2019, respectively.
“The lyrical threads are through both records,” frontman Yannis Philippakis told NME. “It’s not yin and yang or anything corny like that. You can also tell that it’s a band working in the same space over the same period of time. If you were to put it crudely, 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. “
Drummer Jack Bevan agreed: “It felt like the fight in between the members of the band in order to edit it into the size of one album would have just been too brutal.
“The tracks work together. There are a lot of pairings on both records, and little groups of tracks that are friends to each other.”
When can we hear new music?
Foals’ first single of 2019, ‘Exits’, was premiered on Annie Mac’s BBC Radio 1 show on January 21. Listen to it below.
“‘Exits’ is basically about trying to paint a visual picture with words about the state of where we’re at, and all the preoccupations that we have,” frontman Yannis Philippakis told NME. “The environment being one, also the state of surveillance and all of the ways that we attached to the outside world. There isn’t any privacy.
“Essentially I started fantasising about a way of living underground. It’s set in this warped and surreal landscape. It’s not necessarily a dark place, but you can take refuge from the outside world with the hope that you could come above ground at some point.
“It sets the tone for that first record in certain ways,” said Yannis. “It feels like the centre-piece of that album. We thought it was a fresh take, and we always like to come back with a song that slightly curveballs.
“Lyrically, it feels pertinent to what’s going on. It will resonate culturally in a way that certain other songs that feel more introverted wouldn’t.”
How long have Foals been working on new material?
The band announced they were back in the studio towards the end of 2017, with frontman Yannis Philippakis confirming they had begun writing new tunes in October.
Speaking to NME in July 2017, Philippakis said: “We’re in the marinating stage of thinking about getting onto the next record. We have a couple of bits written but it’s in the very early stages. We’re in the conception stage, we’re not pregnant yet, we’re just trying to have the kid.”
What will Foals’ fifth album sound like?
Numerous Instagram Stories and photos have shown the band hard at work with synthesisers and analog electronic equipment, perhaps hinting at a more electronically-led direction for Foals’ fifth album. In addition, an Instagram teaser from Foals frontman Yannis Philippakis came backed by some warped synth noises, suggesting that those electronics may play a forefront role in any new material.
These suggested instrumental changes back up comments from Yannis, who told NME in July 2017: “I think it’s good to be hungry and want to make big leaps between records and keep things surprising and keep it unpredictable and to grow. It’s important for bands to evolve and I think it’s one of the reasons that it’s still exciting for us after having done four records.”
In an Oxford Union talk in October 2017, Yannis also referenced the big sonic shift between debut album ‘Antidotes’ and its less math-rock-influenced follow-up ‘Total Life Forever’, he continued: “The last two [‘Holy Fire’ and ‘What Went Down’], they’re like buddies. What we need to do is go through some sort of violent change and make sure, whatever the next record is, it’s not friends with the last two… We’ve built a wide palette that we can draw from. It would be a shame not to keep pushing that. It’s evolution vs. extinction.”
The band also recently lost their founding bassist Walter Gervers, perhaps suggesting that the bounding basslines he has become known for may be ditched for future material.
In Q Magazine, Yannis confirmed that each record would have a different sonic palette. “I wanted to make something more ambitious and more creative, less predictable,” he said. “The result is two albums which have all differet types of spaces and dynamics on them.”
He continued: “We just went in like, ‘Let’s do everything we want to do’. We had trust there was gonna be a way of fashioning it into something that makes sense at the end. We wanted to have our cake and eat it.”
What will Foals’ fifth album explore lyrically?
Speaking at Oxford Union in October 2017, Yannis discussed “certain events that have happened here and in America, and generally the global climate,” citing a Twitter account called Extinction Symbol as something that ‘keeps him up at night’.
“It makes me feel really bad to be a 21st Century human,” he revealed. “I think, in some ways, that might emanate in the record.”
Those comments were echoed in an interview with NME, in which Yannis hinted that their record might take a more outward-looking viewpoint, lyrically. “I think the world is obviously affecting the way we feel as individuals,” he said. “I definitely feel that when I’m writing lyrics or music, that it’s in dialogue with what’s going on around me in isolation – so I’m sure there will be things in the lyrics to do with, not just the political climate but also the environmental situation that’s happening now. I think that it will be there.”
Speaking to Q Magazine, Yannis revealed the themes behind first single ‘Exits’: “You read about these tech billionaires who are buying bunkers in New Zealand. The song is an MC Escher-like dystopian fantasy, except it’s quite close to being reality… All the post-millennial dread that everybody’s swimming in at the moment is very much present.”
Will Foals tour in 2019?
With the album now confirmed for a 2019 release, a tour of UK venues has also been revealed. Foals’ upcoming UK tour dates are:
11 – Manchester, O2 Victoria Warehouse
14 – Tunbridge Wells, Bedgebury Pinetum
15 – Birmingham, Digbeth Arena
18 – Glasgow, SWG3 Yard
20 – Thetford, Thetford Forest
21 – London, Alexandra Palace
26 – Bournemouth, International Centre
Foals will also play the following festival dates in 2019:
16 – Vive Latino, Mexico City
30 – Lollapalooza, Buenos Aires, Argentina
31 – Lollapalooza, Santiago, Chile
2 – Teatro La Cúlpa, Santiago, Chile
5 – Lollapalooze, Sao Paulo, Brazil
3-5 – Shaky Knees, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
24 – This Is Tomorrow, Newcastle, UK
6 – Northside, Aarhus, Denmark
7 – Rock Am Ring, Nürberg, Germany
9 – Rock Im Park, Nuremberg, Germany
24-26 – InMusic, Zagreb, Croatia
5 – Festival Cruïlla – Barcelona, Spain
6-7 – Down The Rabbit Hole, Ewijk, Netherlands
26-28 – Low Festival, Benidorm, Spain
1-3 – Szene Open Air, Lustenaru, Austria