Foals picks 6 songs you should listen to

The British indie rockers recommend tracks by Prince, The Flaming Lips, Wampire, and more

Foals (from left to right): Edwin Congreave, Yannis Philippakis, Jack Bevan, Jimmy Smith, and Walter Gervers
(Image credit: Facebook/Foals)

Dance-rockers Foals have been crafting intricate, emotional, and often apocalyptic math-rock since the release of their debut album, Antidotes, in 2008. While the Oxford five-piece has already been tapped to headline festivals in their native England, this year's release of their critically lauded third album, Holy Fire, has earned them big-time buzz in the U.S. and beyond. The Week caught up with lead singer Yannis Philippakis and guitarist Jimmy Smith at last weekend's Governors Ball to talk about Prince, their favorite tour mates, and what music they're listening to. Below, six songs they recommend:

1. The Flaming Lips, "Try To Explain"

"I've been listening to quite a lot of the new Flaming Lips record, The Terror. It's a good traveling record, since it's quite spread out. I like the sonics of this album a lot. This song is quite sad, but I like bleak music."

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2. Jon Hopkins, "Open Eye Signal"

"The new Jon Hopkins record, Immunity, is quite sad as well. I like the idea of it — it's a concept record about a guy going out, sort of a trajectory of a night out on MDMA. "Open Eye Signal" is the track we're pounding the most. The whole album feels very human — even though its basically a techno record, there's beauty and fragility to it."

3. Wampire, "The Hearse"

"It's the first track on their record that just came out. It has that B-movie comedy-horror atmosphere, but it's also pretty out there: The poppiest song on the record has a two-minute feedback breakdown."

4. Prince, "Sign O' the Times"

"We've always been into Prince, so it's hard to pick just one track. His music is part of the genetic code of the band, and that came more to the fore on certain tracks on Holy Fire."

5. The Sound, "Heartland"

"It makes sense that there are British bands that are well-kept secrets. The Sound is one of those bands that just kind of got forgotten, although they were really big at the time. They've got a record called Jeopardy that's really great; they're just good songwriters. There are a few great tracks on the record. "Heartland" is one of them."

6. Jagwar Ma, "Let Her Go"

"Jagwar Ma are friends of ours from Australia. We've been on tour with them a bit, and their album called Howlin' just came out. The one song I grew to love on tour with them was 'Let Her Go.'"

Holy Fire is out now on Warner.

(This interview was condensed and edited by Samantha Rollins.)

Watch the video for "My Number" below:

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