Foals have unveiled plans to pursue solo side-projects, this will include frontman Yannis Philippakis’ long-awaited record with Fela Kuti legend Tony Allen.
Philipakis originally revealed that he was working on a side project with Fela Kuti percussionist Allen back in 2017. In 2020, the work was still not quite finished when Allen sadly passed away aged 79. Philipakis has made it his goal to finish off the album and release it as soon as possible.
The Oxford group were speaking earlier this week in an interview in support of their upcoming seventh studio album, Life Is Yours. Philipakis has now revealed that he plans to return to Paris, where Allen was living, to finish the project later on this month.
He explained: “In relation to Tony, it was understanding that even though he’s gone physically from the world, the music that he made will go on forever,” Philippakis said. “When I’m gone, the songs will hopefully live on.”
He added: “There’s an alchemy in looking at music in that way. It’s not just about what’s happening in the room; we’re building this body of work to be left behind. It’s realising that this is a full vocation.”
News has also come in that Foals guitarist Jimmy Smith will be looking to shape some of his solo material into an album in the near future. “I’ve been writing over here [in LA]. I’m trying to do traditional songwriting with my friend,” Smith explained. “It’s fantastic. It may sound horrendous, but we just sit down with two acoustic guitars and just write. I bring in songs, we finish them together and it’s just very challenging and fun. It makes my skin crawl sometimes because I’m trying to sing, but it feels good, man. I’m kind of thriving.”
He continued: “The reason I’ve been doing this isn’t to break away from the band, but just to release some of this music. It’s really funny doing stuff outside of the band because it’s like I’m doing it for the first time again. I’m shitting my pants any time I play anything to anybody because it’s so personal”.
Smith had previously mentioned that he was working on an album following “a Russian cosmonaut lost in space”. When asked about this original idea, Smith replied: “It’s changed a lot. I think it’ll be an EP, or maybe an album with some filler. I really want to do that, but I think it might wait a bit.”
Adding: “I don’t think that’ll be my first solo offering. That might be a bit strong for a first-off. I’ve got a slightly more conventional album in the works. I’ve been properly working on that”.
Last week, the band released their new single ‘2am’, the second single after ‘Wake Me Up’ to be taken from their upcoming album Life Is Yours, which is due for release this summer.
The release will be preceded by a European and UK tour beginning in March.
Listen to the new single ‘2am’ below.