Fresh X: Foals “Exits”

Today, Foals announce that they will return with two new albums in 2019: Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1 & 2, a pair of releases, separate but related, they share a title, theme, and artwork. Part 1 will be released on March 8th, with Part 2 following in autumn. From playing chaotic house parties in their home city of Oxford to becoming major festival headliners across Europe, Foals’ trajectory has been remarkable. They’ve earned critical-acclaim (NME and Q Award wins, plus Mercury Prize, Ivor Novello and BRIT Award nominations) and fan devotion (1.7 million sales of their four gold-certified albums, plus over half a billion streams on Spotify since 2015) in equal measure. Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1 is now available to pre-order here, with the lead single, “Exits,” provided as an instant download.

This morning, Foals confirmed a 17-date North American headlining tour, which will kick off in Vancouver, BC on March 18th, with additional stops in Brooklyn, Seattle, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston, and Chicago (full dates below- sadly, there’s no Salt Lake date announced yet). Tickets for these dates will be available on Friday, January 25th at 10 AM local time (with the exception of the April 16th Washington, D.C. show, which will be on sale Thursday, Jan. 24 at 10 AM ET). The band will also perform a headline tour throughout the UK and Europe, in cities including London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, and Glasgow (full dates below). Tickets for all European dates will be available on Friday, Feb. 1 at 9 AM local time. The band has previously confirmed festival dates throughout North America including Mexico’s Vive Latino 2019 and Atlanta’s Shaky Knees Festival.

Profoundly tethered but possessing their own personalities, the two forthcoming albums capture the most compelling, ambitious and cohesive creations that Foals – completed by Jimmy Smith (guitar), Jack Bevan (drums) and Edwin Congreave (keys) – have ever produced. “They’re two halves of the same locket,” frontman Yannis Philippakis explains. “They can be listened to and appreciated individually, but fundamentally, they are companion pieces.”

Eager to break the traditional pop song structure which they felt they were becoming increasingly tapered to, the 20 tracks defy expectation. There are exploratory, progressive-tinged tracks which occasionally break the 10-minute mark alongside atmospheric segues which make the music an experience rather than a mere collection of songs. Yet the band’s renowned ability to wield relentless grooves with striking power also reaches new heights.

The albums’ lead single “Exits” is a case in point, featuring Philippakis conjuring the image of a disorienting world via a contagious vocal melody. It’s a fresh anthem for Foals’ formidable arsenal, but also an ominous forecast.

There’s a definite idea about the world being no longer habitable in the way that it was,” says Yannis. “A kind of perilousness lack of predictability and a feeling of being overwhelmed by the magnitudes of the problems we face. What’s the response? And what’s the purpose of any response that one individual can have?”

“Exits” signposts what to expect thematically from Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost. The title is a warning that anything – from the tiniest fleeting moment of inspiration through to the planet’s own biological diversity – can be under threat of being irrevocably erased.

It’s a theme that permeates throughout the albums’ material, as Foals mirror the public neuroses that have been provoked by our current cultural climate. The paranoia of state surveillance? Fear of environmental collapse? An overwhelming feeling of anxiety? It’s all there in these apocalyptic songs.

It’s particularly evident in the euphoric “In Degrees” which imagines a future where your ability to talk to each other has been reduced to nothing. This approach is perhaps most vividly captured on “Syrups,” and the devastating closing pair of songs on Part 1 “Sunday” and “I’m Done With The World (& It’s Done With Me).”

“Lyrically, there are resonances with what’s going on in the world at the moment,” summarizes Yannis. “I just feel like, what’s the utility of being a musician these days, if you can’t engage with at least some of this stuff? These songs are white flags, or they’re SOSs, or they’re cries for help… each in a different way.”

The new albums’ journeys began as the “What Went Down” era ended. Founding bassist Walter Gervers departed on amicable terms after playing the Festival Paredes de Coura in Portugal in August 2017. Foals felt that he couldn’t be replaced – a decision that ushered in a period of recalibration, reorganization and, ultimately, rejuvenation.

After taking a little time out, Foals reconvened with Yannis on production duties, who, together with Edwin, also covered the bass parts. They began by writing in a rehearsal space before exporting those sketches into the recording phase at 123 Studios, Peckham, London with the assistance of engineer Brett Shaw. They’d repeat the cycle between the two spaces, effectively creating an ongoing feedback loop as they sought to push every new idea to the finish line.

2019 Foals Announced Tour Dates:

  • 16 March | Mexico City, MX | Vive Latino
  • 18 March | Vancouver, BC | Orpheum Theatre
  • 19 March | Portland, OR | Roseland Theater
  • 20 March | Seattle, WA | Paramount Theatre
  • 22 March | Oakland, CA | Fox Theater
  • 23 March | San Diego, CA | N. Park Observatory
  • 24 March | Los Angeles, CA | Shrine
  • 27 March | Las Vegas, NV | Brooklyn Bowl
  • 13 April | Brooklyn, NY | Brooklyn Steel
  • 16 April | Washington DC | 9:30 Club
  • 19 April | Boston, MA | House of Blues
  • 20 April | Philadelphia, PA | The Fillmore
  • 22 April | Toronto, ON | Rebel
  • 24 April | St. Louis, MO | The Pageant
  • 26 April | Detroit, MI | Saint Andrew’s Hall
  • 27 April | Chicago, IL | Riviera Theatre
  • 28 April | Milwaukee, WI | The Rave
  • 30 April | Minneapolis, MN | First Avenue
  • 03-05 May | Atlanta, GA | Shaky Knees
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