Foals are a band whose evolution I’ve watched closely. The raw intensity of their remarkable 2008 debut ‘Antidotes’ didn’t quite prepare me for 2010’s polished ‘Total Life Forever’. And with this year’s ‘Holy Fire’, I was admittedly guilty of not knowing what to expect of one of my favorite bands of this millennium. Not because I questioned their ability, but because I wondered if they would be too concerned with not repeating themselves rather than focusing on a great overall product. The first single from this record, ‘Inhaler’, was grungy and took an eternity to build into the song’s chorus. I was skeptical of what the new record would sound like. Thankfully the record as a whole shines as bright as any of their earlier work, thanks to great tracks like the latest offering, ‘Late Night.’
The track opens up subtly, with tons of space between a calming guitar, subdued drums, and lead singer Yannis Philipakkis’ sincerity: “Oh I hoped that you were be somebody; someone I could count; to pull me to my feet again; when I was i doubt”. The element of space between instruments have always been present in Foals’ songs, but the use of it has become a lot more mature in recent work. In fact, the build on ‘Late Night’ is remarkably close to their last album’s lead single, ‘Spanish Sahara.’ Both tracks use a sense of calmness to set the tone before erupting into sonic over-saturation. By the time Yannis commands “stay with me”, the song’s final lyrics, at 3:34, you’ve already forgotten the tenderness of the track’s opening bars. This is a full-on barrage of melodies and rhythm working in unison with one another. This is Foals’ genius at work.