Despite being from Oxford, I have to admit I’ve never really got the fuss about one of the most popular bands to come out of the city in recent years. So at the end of 2012, when everyone started banging on about how amazing Foals’ new single Inhaler was, I rolled my eyes and doubted I’d care much for it myself. But then I heard it, and completely unexpectedly it floored me. It’s an absolutely amazing song with a new, heavier direction for the band. Next came My Number which was different to Inhaler but also a great effort – extremely upbeat and catchy, you can’t help but find yourself dancing to it. So after this, I was extremely intrigued to see what their third album would be like.
The first track, Prelude, starts off as an instrumental before some distorted vocals come in. It’s very atmospheric and builds up nicely, working well to lead into Inhaler. My Number follows – a great few songs to start off the album. Then comes Bad Habit; a regret-filled, heartfelt tune about making mistakes and one of the best on the album. Everytime, which comes after, is also brilliant.
The more downbeat numbers like Late Night, dark love song Milk & Black Spiders and the fantastic Stepson are some of the best tracks on the record. Moon is a quiet, beautiful closer that ends the album perfectly. Frontman Yannis Phillipakkis’ vocals are stronger than ever and have never sounded better. The whole album showcases a totally unique sound and all the songs bring something different to the table.
Holy Fire combines the best of Foals’ first album with their second – it’s a mix of upbeat, catchy songs with deep, introspective melancholy ones. A massive step up for the band, it will see them gaining legions of new fans (myself included). It’s only February, yet I can already see it being hailed as one of the albums of 2013 come December.