2am

Album: Life Is Yours (2021)
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Songfacts®:

  • "2am" is an infectious pop tune set in the early hours of the morning where Foals singer Yannis Philippakis is regretting another night of hedonism. While the lyrics are introspective and melancholic, the music is upbeat and danceable. "It's about repetitive cycles of destructive behavior, which I think lots of people can relate to, and certainly it's an expression of something that I struggle with," said Philippakis. "There's something cathartic about expressing that feeling to this upbeat music that's got a sense of release and the hope of resolution."
  • Foals released "2am" as the second single from Life Is Yours on February 10, 2022. The band started writing tracks for the album in the bleak lockdown winter of 2020. Writing upbeat tracks like this one in their south London rehearsal space offered much needed hope and escapism. "We were thinking about parties, club nights and being drunk on the bus at 2 a.m. trying to get home," Philippakis told NME. "All of it: the excitement before you go out, meeting up with your friends, the wild abandon. 'Who's got the pingers? Where are we going?' This is all of that youthful excess of going out."

    "We really wanted to revel in the power of rhythm and music and what that brings to your body, heart and soul," he added. "It's an absolute banger of a track and feels joyous and full of light to us."
  • Foals recorded "2am" with producers John Hill (Portugal The Man, Florence + The Machine, Cage The Elephant ) and Dan Carey (Tame Impala, Fontaines D.C.) during sessions at Real World Studios, Bath, and Carey's studio in south London. Engineer Manny Marroquin (Post Malone, Kanye West, Rihanna) mixed the track.
  • Ukrainian filmmaker Tanu Muino (Cardi B's "Up," Lil Nas X's "MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)") shot the video in her home city of Kiev.

    The clip shows Philippakis pulled into wild hedonism. "The moment I spoke to Tanu she was interested in the repetition of the lyrics, which is symbolic of being stuck in repeated patterns of bad behavior," said Philippakis. "She wanted to visualize that with labyrinths and maze-like loops."
  • Foals debuted the song live on April 20, 2022, when they kicked off their 2022 tour at Usher Hall in Edinburgh. The band also gave a first outing to another Life Is Yours track, "2001," at the same gig.
  • Muiño built the sets for the video in a Kiev warehouse at the start of 2022. Tanks and troops had started to gather on the Ukraine border, but Foals traveled there anyway after speaking to the crew. "No one really thought there would actually be a conflict. The vibe was that it was saber rattling," Philippakis recalled to the BBC. "The day was quite joyous. The video itself is really fun, and we went out afterwards in Kyiv and had a big night."

    Just a few weeks later, Russia's "special military operation" began. "When you contrast that with what's going on now, and how all of that youth and optimism has been brutalized and truncated and people are having to leave," said Philippakis. "It's just horrific."

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