New Music Discovery of the Week: Foals - Wake Me Up

This week's ALT 104.5 New Music Discovery of the Week is Foals - "Wake Me Up" brought to you by Family & Co. Jewelers!

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Ambitious in scale and execution, Foals’ two-part album ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost’ took them to new heights as they shot to #1 on the Official Album Charts for the first time and earned the BRIT Award for Best Group. Now Foals share their brand new single ‘Wake Me Up’ as the first taste of their eagerly anticipated new album, which will follow in 2022.

A pared-back counterpoint to the sheer scale of ‘Everything Not Saved…’, ‘Wake Me Up’ shimmers with choppy, Chic-esque guitars, tight syncopated rhythms and Foals’ prototype flair for punchy, insistent hooks. It feels like a natural evolution, blending fresh influences with echoes of their roots as purveyors of rambunctious house party chaos.

Frontman Yannis Philippakis says, “There’s a journey that the band has gone on experimenting with different palettes of sound. This time there was a desire to take it back to more of the initial idea of the band where the rhythm, the grooves and the guitars are interlocking architecturally. We wanted to tap into the physicality of music. And we wanted it to feel good.”

The song’s escapist lyrics are also a departure from Foals’ previous project. Yannis and bandmates Jimmy Smith and Jack Bevan would arrive for writing sessions at their small, airless rehearsal room in Peckham early in the morning. By the time they were finished for the day, darkness would have already enveloped South London. ‘Wake Me Up’ took shape in the midst of Britain’s already bleak mid-winter, which became ever oppressive as COVID restricted the world around us. It proved to be a subliminal influence on Foals, too, their creativity becoming as much a reflection of their environment as it is from their inner inspiration.

Yannis adds, “With ‘Wake Me Up’, I just wanted to write a song about transporting yourself to a better, idyllic situation. I think we all had that feeling of the last eighteen months being like a weird fever dream that felt surreal but very affecting. I think we all wished we could have woken up somewhere else at various points.”

‘Wake Me Up’ was produced by the Grammy-nominated John Hill (whose credits include Portugal The Man, Florence + The Machine and Cage The Elephant), with co-production from Miles James and additional production courtesy of A.K. Paul (co-founder of the Paul Institute with his brother Jai Paul). It was mixed by the ten-time Grammy Award winner Manny Marroquin (Post Malone, Kanye West, Rihanna).

Hill oversaw the entire new album, working with Dan Carey (Tame Impala, Fontaines D.C.), James and Paul in various different configurations. ‘Wake Me Up’ is indicative of what to expect from the rest of the set, which Yannis describes as “our version of a dance or disco record” with lyrics which “transport oneself out of the oppression of lockdown and the bleakness of last year.”

Foals will make a long-awaited return to the live arena in April, when they commence a UK headline tour that includes four London shows at Olympia. They then tour Europe in May ahead of the summer festival season. Please see their official website for a full list of dates and ticket information.

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