Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Foals Re-Open The Disco With New Single ‘Wake Me Up’

Listeners worldwide will have an extremely hard time trying to find a band more affected by current events than Oxford math-rockers Foals

Having had to postpone their 2020 UK tour not once, but twice, due to the COVID-19 pandemic plus original member and keyboardist Edwin Congreave leaving the band to pursue a degree in economics aimed at combating the climate crisis, the remaining members wouldn’t have been blamed for packing it in there and then. 

Quite the opposite, however, as singer and lead guitarist Yannis Philippakis, rhythm guitarist Jimmy Smith, and drummer Jack Bevan release their first offering as a trio, the extremely optimistic and disco-infused ‘Wake Me Up’. 

Everything about ‘Wake Me Up’ signals a new beginning, not only for Foals but for their listenership. The choppy rhythm guitar, Duran Duran-esque leads, and high twinkling synths present from the get-go evoke the free love and self-expression of an 80s discotheque. This is certainly a contrast to Foals’ usual calculated math-rock stylings, which Philippakis even self-described as “nerdy” on their Mercury Prize-nominated album ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost, Part 1’ 

The track’s lyrics allude to the world returning to life post-pandemic lockdown, as Philippakis sings of “kicking down the doors / I'm climbing up the walls of the house that's yours” and makes constant reference to dancing, whether it be on “screens”“mountains”“serpents”“coals”, or “tiles”. Combined with the irresistibly funky music, this can’t be anything other than a call to get up and dance after a year and a half of being locked inside. The music video certainly adds to this vibe, as the now-trio perform with a theatrical cast of back-up dancers and ever-changing sets to an empty hall, almost feeling like a rehearsal for the constantly postponed live shows the band are famed for. 

In the face of hardship as a band, Foals have still pulled it out the bag by keeping the glass-half-full and dancing through the night on ‘Wake Me Up’. With such a successful reinvention of their sound following a line-up change, the Oxford rockers-turned-disco-kings will only drive up anticipation to see what their seventh full-length release will bring. 


David Harrold 


Image: ‘Wake Me Up’ Official Single Cover 

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