Organic Escapism in “What Went Down”

By Fernanda Esquivel, Contributing Writer

“Now that we’re older, the future is colder. But what is there to do?” a question posed on the band’s latest album, lines from one of Foals drummer Jack Bevan’s favorite songs from “What Went Down.”  Produced with James Ford of the Arctic Monkeys and released in a record time of two months later, the album has proven to be sensational. Rage, passion, life, death and vulnerability are all featured within the contents in an impressive amalgamation of topics.

Over the phone, Bevan spoke about his music and on-tour experience to WSN. While describing the surreal sensation of playing in front of a crowd, Bevan emphasized that part of what makes their performance so wholesome is the natural chemistry that results from the 10 years that the band has been playing together.

This time-proven chemistry results in the production of organic and clean sounds in every song. It creates a sense of authenticity for each, an idea that you “let the song be what it has to be.” When on stage, Foals depends on nothing other than their five members and their respective instruments to stir the crowd and establish their “fire.”

Bevan emphasized this aspect of raw and organic sounds by explaining how in the studio, they only played the song “What Went Down” twice before they knew that it felt “right” and confirmed it as complete. A similar process occurred when writing “A Knife in the Ocean” and the track “My Number” from their previous album “Holy Fire.” Bevan asserts that the songs almost “wrote themselves.” Needless to say, they are songs that are the closest to capturing the true essence of their authentic music.

With this naturalness in mind, the question of the band’s purpose in writing hung heavy. Jack called their main impetus “escapism.”

He expressed, “we all have so much going on in our lives, you know, that I would say the music should let you escape into your thoughts, or at least that’s what I do myself. Whether it is to calm yourself down from a hectic lifestyle or to escape into heavy, loud music — we all need a time to escape and realize that we’re not alone in our thoughts, especially when you are a teenager.”

In this sense, the band prioritizes sounds that listeners can escape into, whatever form they may be. This is reflected in their mix of style between serenity and rage. Songs like “Give It All” paralyze everything going on around you and uplift your thoughts to a realm of boundless floating, while on the other hand, songs like “Inhaler” make you feel empowered and passionate, make you want to fight for the things you believe in. Foals’ music is the type to get lost in. It’s an organic experience both in the studio and out.

Foals will be performing at United Palace at 4140 Broadway on Friday, Nov. 4, 2016.

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