With ‘Spanish Sahara’ ringing in our ears and rumours circulating that the second album from Foals might just be the best album of the year, we were pretty excited to hear ‘Total Life Forever”s first proper single; ‘This Orient’. At this point we should state that this writer thought Foals’ debut album was pretty dire, and a little annoying. Not an opinion shared by most, we understand, but seeing as you’ve already seen the high marks given to this beautiful song, you’ll see that he’s had a change of heart about Foals.
The keyboards that gently birth the song are slightly reminiscent of the bleepy bits of ‘Antidotes’, and the smacking of the drums recalls this also, but for some reason it feels altogether more relaxing. It washes over us and we feel goosebumps coming along when the vocals are delivered in a wonderful croon. It’s a world away from the yelping that accompanied ‘Balloons’ and ‘Cassius’. We want to think that it sounds like a completely different band, but it doesn’t. “It’s your heart that gives me this western feeling” are the lyrics that usher in the chorus, and what a chorus it is.
Said refrain is repeated and the guitars are let loose. But this isn’t some tight snappy math-pop. This is stunning, an epic in just over four minutes. The song actually feels as though it’s lifting up the listener and transporting them over the countryside at an altitude and a speed. ‘This Orient’ can give British Sea Power a run for their money, it’s a song that captures that feeling of longing as the lights go on after the last song of the night and a potential soundtrack to a million nature documentaries all rolled into one. Yet through all of this it’s not comprised on Foals’ experimental nature, full sound or desire to push themselves.
So yes, they’ve bloody gone and ‘done a Horrors’.