One of Britain’s best rock exports are back: today (November 4th), Foals have released their new single, “Wake Me Up.”
It’s their first release since the second part of their ambitious 2019 double album Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 2, and also their first since the departure of Edwin Congreave, the band’s longtime keyboardist.
“Wake Me Up,” is a fitting title, however, since it was written in a cold, bleak, lockdown winter in the UK. “We wanted to create a contrast between the outside world and the music that we’re writing inside this small room,” says frontman and guitarist Yannis Philippakis about their writing process. “We couldn’t help but reimagine ourselves on stage and how euphoric it will be once it returns.”
Indeed, it’s the band’s energetic and cathartic live shows that have helped propel them to global stardom, and this new era of Foals feels indebted to that energy. Philippakis describes the upcoming album, due in 2022, as a “dance/disco record,” but at the same time, he believes it was time for the band to go back to its roots: “For this one, it’s back to a sweaty, late-night dance floor — a going-out record.”
To give the new single an added layer of performance, the band has released a video for “Wake Me Up” that seems to occur entirely in one take. Set in a theater, we follow the band as they perform, but the camera also tracks dancers, stage hands, set changes, and more.
The euphoric, performance-heavy aspects of both the song and the video suggest that Foals really missed gathering with people and celebrating. “This may be one of the first times in human history that there’s been very little congregation around music…” says Philippakis, “We were almost wishing it back into existence.”
In addition to working on their seventh album, Foals are also getting ready for a massive 2022 tour. Consequence caught up with Philippakis to chat about the new single, their 2019 documentary Rip Up The Road, their songwriting process, and the process of picking setlists for their shows (“It’s a nightmare”).
Check out the full Q&A below.