It’s safe to say that most of us have remerged from the novel and misgiving times of the pandemic as changed people, with new hobbies, ideas, and appreciation for the joys of socialising. In Foals' case, they’ve done exactly that, demonstrated on their gracious new record ‘Life Is Yours’.
Following from their critically acclaimed two-part record ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost’ in 2019, Foals have remerged from the pandemic with a brand-new sound on ‘Life Is Yours’, a sound which can be described as a love letter written from the time of recording amid the pandemic, with best wishes to today. It’s a love letter to those glorious summer days with friends and sticky dancefloors that we all dearly missed during that terrible time and are now so grateful to have again.
Foals’ back-catalogue has an arsenal of different sounds, with the likes of catchy funk like ‘My Number’, the indie heartstoppers such as ‘Spanish Sahara’, and the heavier and more grittier takes such as ‘Black Bull’ and ‘Inhaler’. With Life is Yours, Foals have created an escapist summertime dancefloor sound. It’s undoubtedly the poppiest Foals album to date, filled with catchy hooks, choppy Chic-esque guitar grooves and Balearic beats.
As well as Foals taking a new sonic adventure, it’s subject matters also join in on this new optimistic sun-kissed sound. Whilst this is most definitely a pop album, frontman Yannis Philippakis doesn’t pair the pop sound with those party starting tropes of the modern pop song. He conjures evocative images of far-flung places, from the boreal coastal forests of the Pacific North-West (‘Life Is Yours’) to the beguiling beauty of the mountains perched upon the sea in St. Lucia (‘Crest Of The Wave’). Escapism can also be achieved via time rather than place, as shown by the sugar rush nostalgia of ‘2001’ or a rumination on the changing face of their hometown Oxford’s club scene on ‘Looking High’.
With both these lyrical and sonic accomplishments, Foals have created a fine record with a very solidified sound that will be the soundtrack for the summer. Some highlights include the possessing catchiness of ‘2am’, the dreamy nostalgia of ‘2001’ and the West African inspired groove ‘Flutter’. That being said, each track offers that escapist dancefloor groove capable of possessing the listener into a state of euphoria, it’s almost like a drug.
Since their 2008 debut record ‘Antidotes’, Foals have continued to build on their plethora of sounds and attract new audiences to their divine world and ‘Life Is Yours’ is no exception. When this album was recorded in Foals windowless studio amidst the pandemic, the songs were their windows to a world without restrictions and the bright euphoria of life that was back in full swing. Now we’re here, this record is purpose-built for our first full unrestricted summer and the summers beyond.
Words: Kieran Macadie
Dig This? Dig Deeper: Chic, Wolf Alice, Factory Floor
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