FOALS - 'Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Pt. 1'
On Sunday we witnessed the first climax of a two month build up since Yannis Phillipakis posted a video on Instagram previewing the video for ‘Exits’ overdubbed with the audio for the then unreleased ‘Surf, Pt. 1’.
Along with this ethereal preview we were also given the title of the album Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost and the promise of its arrival in two parts with the second part coming in Autumn 2019.
The title harks to our ever-increasing digital age and the anxiety that accompanies this era, the conflict between inevitable change and the desire for something stable. Current events inspire the album from Trump to Brexit to climate change to our ever increasing reliance on modern technology.
‘Moonlight’ opens the album by setting the scene for the coming album, on this track we get the sense of something to come. This method of opening an album with a transitory track is not alien to Foals, previously done in their 2013 effort Holy Fire with ‘Prelude’ to grand effect, achieved here with angelic synths and guitar melodies which guide the listener into the world of Everything Not Saved Will be Lost Pt 1.
‘Exits’ hits hard with drums and a riff already signature of the band while Yannis delivers powerful lyrics ascertaining to climate change and current international affairs. ‘In a world upside down’ reminds the listener of the anxious setting of our modern society. ‘On The Luna’ evokes a nostalgic tone by projecting a fantastical escape from this dark world in the form of a “Kung-Fu kid on the Luna”, Trump and baby boomers are name dropped on this track which solidifies the modern theme of this album. Recently released ‘White Onions’ is a heavy energetic track reminiscent of ‘What Went Down’ and ‘Providence’, acting as the cathartic human confession on this album which will get crowds jumping when they go on tour this summer.
Foals are showcasing the range of songs they can create using a blend of synths, guitar and powerful vocals, ranging from the heavier tracks like ‘Exits’ and ‘Syrups’ to tracks such as ‘In Degrees’ and ‘Cafe D’Athens’ which are at once groovy and catchy. ‘Surf Pt. 1’ is similar in tone to ‘Moonlight’ with an ethereal melody that connects the rest of the songs to the calming end.
‘Sunday’ and ‘I'm Done with the World (& It’s Done with Me)’ are more melancholy in content but where ‘Sunday’ rejects and revels in the end of the world scenario unfolding around the perimeters of this album, ‘I’m Done with the World…’ is overcome by it. We see a shift in the emotional output of the album here to one of vulnerability, a welcome breath of fresh air in a society just starting to realise the importance of good mental health.
Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Pt. 1 stands as a display of humanity’s current state of affairs with tracks that rage against it, revel in the chaos of it and are defeated by it. Foals have given us a soundtrack for hope in the uncertain times we live in.
Don't just listen to me describe it, go listen now.