A fierce album with all the heart, What Went Down is the Oxford Quintet’s fourth studio work.
But how did they end up where they are now?
With their collection topping up to five studio albums – and their enormous project of Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost fitting across a two-parter marathon in the late Spring of 2019 – Foals have been the frequent force behind the tales and triumphs of UK indie-rock music.
With their jarring SPACE ROCK and TURBULENT ANTHEMS setting the pace, it made an unlikely formula to top the lot and break the charts.
With five albums to choose from as an album to venture into (at least one first anyway) I had to seek out the storm of Foals‘ 2015 year with What Went Down.
DARK and DIRTY where it needs to be with Mountain at my Gates and Snake Oil, while being aware of itself enough to hold the gears back a bit with Birch Tree and London Thunder, it is such an impressive album – equally in production and music value – and for me, the far impressive to date.
Definitive in the band’s new approach to sound, it was also definitive in value too, with many music listeners returning to the music from Oxford quintet where they would once write them off for making music “too soft.”
Foals: The Journey
A band’s journey has never been so prevalent or distinguishable than these lot.
Starting with their pragmatic math-rock Antidotes in 2008, we saw the start of a band who were very much the fast and frantic in an ever-growing music scene. Old fan faves with Cassius and Balloons first gave us an idea of what kind of band we were dealing with …
Total Life Forever: 2010
… But when Total Life Forever came out two years later, we simply had to throw that out of the window. Far more lush and swell in the making, it really allowed Foals to flourish and really confirm, “right this is us, this is our sound.”
The fast, the funky and the off-balance with Antidotes was taken down a few pegs with Total Life Forever as a more sultry, considerate approach to taking life slower was picked. Rightly so, as this was the sound they eventually settled on.
Holy Fire: 2013
Much more brighter in complexity and contrast, came Holy Fire in 2013. Rolling with more tight-lipped writing, Holy Fire trail-blazed Foals’ distinguished sound and not only surpassed a mega indie anthem with My Number, but also hacked the charts overseas in America, too.
The album saw familiar favourites with airy Out of the Woods, critical rock additions with Inhaler aswell as fitting in the slow-burners with Late Night, that was so emphatically notable with the band from the prior release in 2010.
What Went Down: 2015
Simply picking up where they left off, What Went Down was a far more passionate desire to lay their stake in the ground – we are Foals and this is what we do.
Their now immense following were only thrilled to hear that more music was in the making.
Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost: 2019 (part I / part II)
Despite somewhat of a project with B-list unreleased works, this would be the band’s most prestigious and busiest years in the industry – releasing two music albums in the space of the same year.
Envisioning creativity and new directions, their fifth and most recent saw them delve into sounds we hadn’t heard of before. An impossible feat to do at this stage, you’d think, but we were albeit pleasantly surprised with Syrups and Cafe D’Athens off the first part. If Part I was the palatable starter, then Part II is the tasty desert of dreams.
Far more angry and emphatic, Part II is a screechy sure-fire of the best of indie rock. The Runner Black Bull, Like Lightning. With this album, I could keep going – thump after thump.
In all my time listening to music and being a fan of all genres, call me dumb or merely narrow-minded, but I have never witnessed such a journey in not only creating such a diverse array of music but how they seem themselves as musicians and individuals in an industry that is already so overpopulated with pumped indie kicks.
It’s f*ckin great.