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Baker's Dozen

Something Searing: Yannis Philippakis Of Foals' Favourite Albums
Lisa Lavery , August 26th, 2015 09:56

Before the release of new album What Went Down, the Foals frontman gives Lisa Lavery his top 13 LPs, all records united by "people's voices that connect directly", moving through Arthur Russell, Pixies and Howlin' Wolf

Yannis Philippakis from Foals is making a few last-minute changes to his Baker's Dozen choices based on us reminiscing. We haven't hung out in over ten years, but met at London gigs in the early 2000s, watching bands such as Charlottefield, Joeyfat, Part Chimp, Lords, Bilge Pump and Querelle, organised by promoters like Silver Rocket, Noisestar et al. It was a crucial scene - there, I said it. It really was, though; truly a cross-country family that pretty much, for better or worse, remains to this day, spawning bands like Kogumaza, Hey Colossus, Tomaga, Sweet Williams and many more. The promoters among us have carried on, the small labels like Gringo have gone on to become much bigger than anticipated - it's pretty great and I'm proud of it.

Once of The Edmund Fitzgerald, Philippakis is now on to his fourth full-length recording with Foals, What Went Down. They've been going a whole ten years and they're not all even 30 bloody years old, but I can't do anything about that now. They've got a real knack for crafting mature, confessional space pop with some subtle Kraut and prog-rock influences, and some not so subtle rock-rock ones. The opening title track, for instance, is maybe where Foo Fighters could have gone if a certain someone wasn't so in love with his cheese board. What follows is tune after tune of hooks and Balearic touches, choruses and clever pop details. It's a serious party record, at a party where Bargain Booze provides the drink, Waitrose provides the food and nostalgia and The Wire's Tapper CDs meet head-on at the record player. Up all night and someone will definitely hoover at 9am. Or if you're a little older like me - only a little - it's a driving record. Perfect for a variable speed-limited jaunt up the M40.

It's clearly the sum of its parts, which is a good thing, encasing your (or rather their) 20s. A coming of age, via music and declaration of admiration for the music they have been influenced by over the years; a consolidation, if you will.

In the end, and following some guesses at what featured on a mixtape Philipakkis once made me ("Oxes, Don Cab, Ativin, Sweep The Leg - I almost picked a Sweep record for the list!"), one record makes way for Charlottefield's What Are Friends For, and with both of us happy, we begin to discuss.

What Went Down is out on Friday, August 28, on Transgressive Records. Foals play an in-store at Rough Trade East in London on the release day, before beginning a world tour at Cabaret Sauvage in Paris on September 4; for full details and tickets, head here. Click on his image below to begin scrolling through Yannis' choices, which run in no particular order

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