Music Video: Spanish Sahara by Foals


When Foals released their first album, 2008’s Antidotes, it was a breath of fresh air for an English alternative music scene searching for a new sound. The jabbing, guitar-heavy indie which dominated the early part of the decade was beginning to lose its stranglehold on the market, and the Oxford 5 piece’s brand of electronic indie-pop was welcomed with open arms. Lead single  Cassius has since become an indie club standard, and other tracks like Olympic Airways and Two Steps, Twice have also ingrained themselves in many minds.

Just over two years later, electro has become the music du jour, and despite a host of competitors and copycats, Foals are still regarded as one of the genre’s leading lights in the UK. Their second album, Total Life Forever, was released earlier this year and set a new high watermark for the group’s imitators to try and reach. It’s a record full of fantastic hooks, brilliant electro basslines and catchy melodies which retains the sharp punchiness of the first record while adding a subtler, more expansive blend of sounds to compliment singer Yannis Philippakis’ distinctive vocals.

Total Life Forever features several wonderful tracks, but lead single Spanish Sahara is the song that best encapsulates the band’s evolved sound: a slow, melodic opening gradually builds to a layered electro-rock climax led by sprawling synths and pounding drums. Its video, directed by Dave Ma, is in direct opposition to the song’s title, depicting Philippakis in an arctic wilderness, dragging a mysterious item from the cold sea across the sweeping tundra. Filled with beautiful images of glaciers, seas and mountains, its scope is impressive, and the panning shots across glasslike sea-ice are breathtakingly rendered. Rarely do a video and song merit the same praise, but in this case they’re both deserving of extremely high praise.

Luke Grundy is a fervent assimilator of media living amid the bright lights of London, England. If he’s not watching films or listening to music, he’s probably asleep, eating or dead. An aspiring writer, journalist and musician, he is the creator of movie/music blog Odessa & Tucson and lives for epistemology.