Having left fans waiting for four years after their album What Went Down, released back in 2015, Foals return with their most ambitious effort yet. Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost, being released in two parts as a double album, is the perfect record for our time. The indie rockers perfectly encompass the inevitability and cynicism of today’s society and coil it around their heavy guitars and rhythmic percussion, which they have come to be known for.
Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost opens with soft synth pads that fluctuate with iconic frontman Yannis Philippakis’ signature, gravelly voice. The record provides a range of songs from the soft and the graceful to the roaring and thunderous, two perfect examples being ‘Sunday’ and ‘White Onions’. The band’s craft allows these tracks to evolve and breathe. This can be cleverly seen in ‘Sunday’, where the listener is pleasantly surprised when immense openness switches to a tightly wound dance groove.
Issues on all our minds – climate change, political uncertainty, mental health – are abound musically as Foals create the perfect soundtrack for today. ‘White Onions’ uses airy percussion, whilst letting slip claustrophobic cries for air. Whilst, ‘I’m Done With the World (& it’s done with me)’ is an epic song that juxtaposes a melancholy piano with startling imagery, in a bid to make sense of a planet in panic, furiously grasping for meaning in a widely uncertain time.
Foals understand how to expand upon their previously explored ideas without recycling them to the point where people aren’t interested, ‘In Degrees’ recalls on the percussive excitement of Holy Fire’s ‘My Number’ and opening track ‘Moonlight’ reminisces on the tranquillity of Total Life Forever’s ‘Blue Blood’. By this point, fans know what to expect from the band, after all they have been releasing records for years. But their music remains exciting as the band take advantage of the guitar and percussion sounds that they best exemplify.
Despite the departure of bassist Walter Gervers, which could have shaken the bands chemistry, Foals have returned better than ever with this release. Switching their sound slightly by adding synthesiser driven bass lines, their tunes encompass a slightly different feel. Whilst perfectly displaying the realities of our times, the band have created a true masterpiece. All this amounts to Foals’ finest yet, and the excitement doesn’t end there as we await Part 2 that follows later this year.
[Grace Richardson – @headcarz]