After four years without an album, Foals return this week do deliver the first instalment of their two-parter Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost...
It has been almost four years since Oxford rockers Foals released their fourth album, 2015's What Went Down, making this the longest gap between album releases of the band's career so far. To make up for it, in January this the band announced that their fifth album will be a two-parter, with both instalments set to arrive this year.
Given the title Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost, the new album's second instalment is due some time this autumn, but in the meantime, Part 1 makes its arrival in stores today. Here's everything you need to know...
A little background...
As far back as autumn 2017 Foals had already begun talking up their next album, posting on their social media channels that they were starting to write and record new material. Then, a few months later in January, the band announced that bassist Walter Gervers would be departing the band after 12 years to pursue new adventures, leaving the band to record their fifth studio album as a four-piece, with keyboardist Edwin Congreave filling in on bass duties (Everything Everything's Jeremy Pritchard has since been recruited for the band's live shows).
A year of near-silence followed, which was finally broken in January this year with the announcement that Foals would be releasing not one but two albums in 2019 – or, more accurately, that their new album would contain two instalments - “two halves of the same locket”, to use their words. The band also unveiled the title Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost, as well as a video for the album's lead-off single 'Exits', which you can find at the bottom of this page...
Who's producing it?
Foals are co-producing the album along with Arctic Monkeys' go-to producer James Ford, who worked on Foals' previous album What Went Down, and French composer/producer Vincent Taurelle.
Any special guests?
Nope, it's just the four remaining band members here.
What does it sound like?
On first listen, the first instalment of Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost sounds more like a summing up of everything Foals have done so far rather than any radical new departure, but that's not to say there's no growth or experimentation happening on the new album, just that it's doing those things in subtle ways.
The full, unedited version of 'Exits', which serves as a kind of centrepiece for the new album, clocks in at just shy of six minutes and marries their knack for radio-friendly tunes with their more quirky tendencies, with wonky synths played off against increasingly crunchy guitars. 'On the Luna', meanwhile, combines fizzing synths with muscular guitars for one of the album's most instantly memorable moments.
Does it deliver?
Despite the line-up changes, Foals' new album isn't a huge leap into a new direction but a distillation of everything that's good about them. Fans will no doubt love it, and it may well earn the band a few more too.