In a sentence:
Much more riff-orientated than its twin, ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – part 2’ rounds off a triumphant year for Foals.
Last week, Foals released the second half of their 2019 album Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost that debuted back in March, and it can certainly be said they didn’t fail to deliver more of the hypnotic riffs, ambient vocals and subjective storytelling we’ve come to expect ever since 2008’s Antidotes. The tonal progression throughout the album’s 40-minute runtime is almost seamless, with the band’s characteristically effortless flow from one track to the next adding a certain depth to the overarching story of liberation and ephemerality that makes it such an enjoyable listen.
READ MORE: Foals // ‘Antidotes’ at 10 years old
After a fitting build-up in the form of ‘Red Desert’, the instantly
recognisable riff of ‘The
Runner’ begins to explore themes of freedom and definition through darkness
in its lyrics, whilst perfectly reflecting these in the euphoric and empowering
groove throughout. Next up is ‘Wash
Off’, which may contain one of Foals’ greatest ever instrumentals in its
final act. The crescendo towards the roaring finale of the song makes for one
of the most unforgettable live performance experiences I’ve had the pleasure of
witnessing, comparable to that of ‘What
Went Down’ from 2015
album of the same name.
Bull’ is the most adrenaline-fuelled song on the album. Whilst at first it
may seem like a fish out of water in this otherwise smooth, slick album, its
mood and lyrics are the summit of the first half of the album. This journey of
liberation finally reaches its peak, but it is evident it won’t last. ‘Like Lightning’ brings things
back down to Earth gradually with yet another memorable bass riff.
denotes the beginning of the album’s second half with a noticeably more
mellowed sound. Describing memories of a life that once was, peacefully
reminiscing. Despite such a shift in atmosphere, it almost feels expected
before the track is even played – there was nowhere left to go along the path
in question other than back down to reality.
Transitioning from ‘Dreaming Of’ to ‘10,000 Feet’ with the use of
instrumental interlude ‘Ikaria’
builds up just the right ambience as we head towards the conclusion of the
album. The story of Icarus, son of master craftsman of the Labyrinth Daedalus, is
hinted at in the first verse of the song in the lyrics “With my wings all
bound and twisted into one” in the first verse of the song. The story goes
that Icarus and his father were imprisoned on the island of Crete, given only wings
made of wax to escape. When Icarus wore the wings to attempt his escape from
the island, he flew too close to the sun, melting the wings together, resulting
in him drowning in the island’s surrounding ocean. This story is a perfect
metaphorical parallel to what we’ve experienced with our protagonist up until
this point in the album. The second verse also nods to a story of a Mexican
architect who, after being cremated, was smelted into a diamond ring as a compromise
to resolve a conflict over possession of his ashes. Lyrically, this is
translated to “When I’m cut like a diamond, I’m coal again. Turn me into a
wedding ring that you can wear”. Yannis explained to DIY Magazine in an
interview that he was “pretty struck” by these two stories, and that “[‘10,000
Feet’] and ‘Neptune’ are about these strange, modern forms of death – being
turned into a diamond and changing states, like a modern day Icarus.”
Focusing attention now on ‘Into The Surf’, the
penultimate song of the new album, that reads as a peaceful imagining of an
ideal posthumous send-off. The backdrop of piano keys and light drums perfectly
transport you to a tranquil beach setting, laid face up in the sand as the
waves crash further down the sand.
Following a similar theme, ‘Neptune’ closes the journey in
a style arguably comparable to ‘Spanish
Sahara’ from 2010’s Total
Life Forever. It’s impressive 10-minute runtime is a quarter of the
entire album, and with good reason; it’s beautifully crafted with a reflective
atmosphere that perfectly encapsulates how you feel after a suitable
life-changing experience; long or short, there are countless memories made
along the way that are remembered for a lifetime, similar to how the second
part of the Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost endeavour will be remembered
for many years to come – as a fitting conclusion to an incredibly successful
year for Foals. (8/10) (Harry Hawkesford)
Listen to Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost pt.2 by Foals here via Spotify, and tell us what you think below!
Tags: album, Edwin Congreave, Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost, Foals, Harry Hawkesford, Jack Bevan, Jimmy Smith, Yannis Philippakis
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