Foals’ Sound of Music

By Cam Lindsay"We tread a really awkward balance, it’s like a tightrope. Because what we’re doing — at least in our minds — is a contradiction between what we’d like to do and what we need to do. The band is schizophrenic.” A description of Oxford, England’s Foals couldn’t be any more accurate, considering this one is coming from the band’s vocalist/guitarist Yannis Philippakis, who has seen his band categorised, described and marketed any number of ways.

Becoming one of Britain’s most talked-about bands over the last three years, Foals have tasted success in the UK charts, despite eschewing the typical means of earning hits (read: conformity is not an option). "The way the music industry works in Britain, we’ve just been swept into this whole other arena that we never saw ourselves as part of,” says Philippakis, "so we try to keep it that the band makes music we want to make.”

Foals’ debut album, Antidotes, is as unrelenting as it is alluring. Battling the confines of conventional pop music, the band’s adept hand at arranging music balances skin-tight transitions with fluttering ideas and an unlikely endowment for hooks within the textured touch of producer David Sitek (TV On the Radio).

"When we first started it was definitely a lot more rigid and architectural,” Philippakis explains. "With Dave we wanted to make this softer, fluid record with a bit of ambience and not make it so cynical. I think as the band goes on we’ll get more and more psychedelic — we’re definitely get weirder and weirder.”

Some have called Foals’ sound math rock, others label it post-punk and even "brainy punk-funk,” but Philippakis and crew simplify it as putting their own stamp on pop. "We were looking to make something accessible, like our own idea of what pop music could and should be.”
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Article Published In May 08 Issue