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Foals get nostalgic for nights out in new single ‘Looking High’

"There’s an element of being haunted by nightlife that’s no longer there," Yannis Philippakis said of the song

By Charlotte Krol

Members of Foals are seen posing in a white convertible car
Foals. (Picture: Alex Knowles)

Foals have shared ‘Looking High’, the latest single from their new album ‘Life Is Yours‘.

The upbeat new song hears Foals frontman Yannis Philippakis reflect on his “more hedonistic” youth growing up in Oxford and remark on the decline of the independent nightlife economy.

“This is looking back to a more hedonistic time in my life, and a more innocent time in society in general, pre-pandemic and before the existential threat of climate change,” he said in a statement.

“It takes place in an alley in Oxford with two clubs – The Cellar and The Wheatsheaf – that all the city’s nightlife gravitated towards,” he added.

“It was before clubs started to close down and our cities started to change into more corporate, arid places. There’s an element of being haunted by nightlife that’s no longer there.”

In 2019 local venue The Cellar, which had played host to Foals as well as other Oxford-formed acts including Supergrass, closed down following a rent battle.

Other grassroots venue The Wheatsheaf, which sits just off the city’s High Street – a stone’s throw from the site of the now-shuttered Cellar on Cornmarket Street – has also faced threats of closure in recent years as developers look to build new residential apartments.

‘Looking High’ originated as a demo by Foals guitarist Jimmy Smith and is described as originally having a “mid-paced Prince vibe” before morphing into a zippier affair with contributions from Philippakis and drummer Jack Bevan after the Covid-19 lockdowns.

It’s produced by John Hill (and featuring co-production by Miles James and additional production by A.K. Paul) and is the third single shared from the band’s seventh album (released on June 17) after ‘Wake Me Up‘ and ‘2am‘.

In an interview with Rolling Stone UK last year Philippakis said that the group’s new music has elements of disco and will be “ready for you to party to”.

He said: “I wanted the songs to be capsules to transport people – and myself – out of the time that we were in. A lot of the new songs are set in far-flung places that are halcyon and idyllic. That’s part of the power of music, to act as a vessel for transport.

Foals play live
Foals’ Yannis Philippakis (Picture: YouTube)

“It felt like postcards from the past for the future. I was taking shards of sun-drenched, joyous memories of being at a party somewhere, which felt so out of reach at that time, and trying to project it and manifest it into the future for when stuff reopened.”

Foals kick off their tour in Europe this month, with a slew of UK dates in the diary ahead of their Latitude headline slot on July 23.