FOALS – ” Life Is Yours “

Posted: August 10, 2022 in MUSIC

Foals take a fresh, thrilling new direction on with their latest album “Life Is Yours”. Halfway through Foals’ jubilant new album, “Life Is Yours”, curling guitars combine with tumbling drums for the 36-second interlude “Summer Sky” and majestically, the British rock trio graze the sun. Unlike Icarus, however, the Yannis Philippakis–fronted band doesn’t fall to Earth, but rather melds one of the finest rock records of the summer.  Thematically, it’s escapist, transportive and in rapture at life’s endless possibilities. It’s a record that’s perfectly in tune with the prevailing atmosphere of this moment in time – a life-affirming celebration as the world is reunited.

Foals have been around now for over 15 years, having released six previous albums, but they have perhaps not sounded as liberated and fun as they do on “Life Is Yours”. Boosted by Philippakis’s mighty vocal warble, the band which is currently rounded out by guitarist Jimmy Smith and drummer Jack Bevan celebrate life with a new record and consequently exude pure joy. Along with Philippakis, Bevan and Smith have been commanding listeners’ attention for almost 20 years, their previous album “Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost” from 2019 released as two parts and landing them a Mercury Prize nomination

“I actually met Yannis for an internet classified ad,” Bevan says “I posted an ad saying I was looking for a band because I had been in a few others, but they had sort of broken up. I posted this ad saying, ‘Drummer who likes Don Caballero, Boards of Canada, and Aphex Twin looking for someone to play with.’ This was long enough ago that Yannis responded to the ad and sent me a handmade tape cassette with all of his favourite musical influences.” 

Philippakis, down to his dark eyes and thick beard, is certainly one of the most compelling frontmen out of the UK for a long-time fans of the band flocking to see perform for well over a decade now, the singer not only has a fiery timbre but a fierce persona. On stage, bent over his electric guitar and threshing on the strings, he emerges as a gentle beast. On record, he wears his emotions on his sleeve and lets the listener in. “Life is yours / Break away,” he sings on the opening title track off “Life Is Yours”, getting even the grouchiest listener to dance. “Life is yours / Your life awaits,” he then shouts and, in a fashion similar to that of David Byrne on Talking Heads’ iconic “Once in a Lifetime,” he jolts listeners awake. 

Foals shows why they’re also infectiously joyful. On the album standout, “Crest of the Wave,” over winding guitars, Philippakis sings, “I promise I need ya,” and no matter the addressee, the “ya” he pleads with is really anyone’s lover and conveys the record’s broader theme of indestructible romance. 

The deceptively sunny “2am” even sounds like an ode to the titular wee hour, that time late in the night when seemingly anything—maybe even sudden romance—can happen. As Philippakis sings, “I lost myself again,”

‘Life Is Yours’ immediately establishes its tone with the bright beam of optimism provided by its title track, its ambience and exuberance showing no sign of slowing down as it is followed by the two recent singles. There’s a unity to the sound, whether Foals are bouncing into the Balearic beats of ‘Looking High’, experimenting with West African guitar grooves on ‘Flutter’, or simply savouring the prospect of playing live together again within the dance dynamics of ‘The Sound’.

It’s also a consistently transportive experience, at times conjuring images of the Pacific Northwest or St. Lucia, at others directly set in the peppy nostalgia of the recent past. It all comes full circle with ‘Wild Green’, which simultaneously celebrates the rebirth of summer with an existential tinge that all beautiful moments are inevitably fleeting.

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