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Britain’s most important guitar band prepares to cement their rightful place as one of the most exciting acts in the world. Foals are back. Today the Oxfordshire five-piece announce details of their much-anticipated fourth album, titled ‘What Went Down’, due for release this August on Warner record
m was recorded earlier this year in a turn of the 19th century Chateaux in Provence, southern France; “Van Gogh cut his ear off in the next town and was put in a psychiatric ward in the same village we recorded in – we wanted to capture some of that madness”, Yannis Philippakis told NME earlier this week. The studio, La Fabrique, holds one of the most impressive classical music collections in the world: 200,000 LPs, 30,000 films, thousands of books. Philippakis found himself sleeping in the sheets once inhabited by Nick Cave and Morrissey.
Despite being at the end of a gruelling two-year tour of the last album, the majority of the new record was written in a spell of activity at the tail end of 2014 in a poky studio in Oxford. For album four, Foals teamed up with producer James Ford (Arctic Monkeys, Florence & The Machine, Jessie Ware, Mumford & Sons) and the result is a primal, intense, sometimes harrowing album of extremes – the record touches upon the dark depths of madness whilst also exhibiting some of the most beautiful pop songs the band have ever written.
Lyrically, Philippakis deals with themes around cultural identity, generational anxiety, cynicism and pessimism; “I wanted to tap into my inner madman and feel like I was channeling some sort of fevered creature”. Famously provocative, Philippakis is in equal parts destructive, obsessive, intelligent, ambitious, quick-witted with a razor sharp tongue.