Foals – ‘Exits’
Any time Foals come up in the bop group chat, you can be sure to get a flustered squeal of sheer joy from at least one of us, for – even amongst a bloody strong cohort of homegrown indie outfits to have emerged since the millennium, like the Bombay Bicycle Clubs and Bloc Partys of this world – they’ve perhaps been the most consistently intensely impressive, through their growth from quirky toddlers in the early days to smashing through years later as mature, grizzled rockers. Plus, they’ve actually proved able to stay together long enough to do many a good album, so there’s basically nothing not to love.
Anyway, it’s time for some excellent news: Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost is a two-part beast coming THIS YEAR with 10 tracks apiece – “grooves” on the first part, harder stuff on the second, they claimed in conversation with Annie Mac on BBC Radio 1 – and, whilst they are arriving a slightly slimmer outfit following the departure of founding bassist Walter Gervers this time last year, they’ve been cooking things up during a much-needed year in the studio post-What Went Down. Or, to quote frontman Yannis Philippakis, who I may have unintentionally stalked platform-to-platform across the Northern line from Waterloo to Kentish Town during this time and must therefore profusely apologise to: “It came out of boredom and doing laundry and feeding the cats.”
Leading the charge is ‘Exits’ which James (rather accurately, albeit peculiarly) likened to “Muse and Florence & The Machine having a baby and it being one hot kid” whilst locked into that radio premiere. Rather than being some sheer epic in a typical Foals vein, like a desperate sob-fest in the ‘Spanish Sahara’ or that ferocious Interrailing soundtrack punch of ‘What Went Down’, it’s a big old pivot to the land of groove that clocks in at a feather under six minutes as it touches on climate change, mass surveillance, and just how fucked everything seems to be.
It’s properly brilliant, almost serving as the disco-leaning rebirth that they’ve teased sporadically since the perky melodic jangles of ‘Miami’ a whole decade ago, and it’s yet more evidence that 2019 could actually be a rather marvellous year as far as the bop supply goes. We can rest assured that even if Brexit does indeed go tits up, at least we’ll have Yannis and co. making the best of things with their sweaty yells and hip-shaking gold.