Albatross

Album: What Went Down (2015)
  • songfacts ®
  • Foals guitarist Jimmy Smith told NME he considers this to be "chordally-speaking," one of the most interesting things the band have ever recorded. He explained: "It goes from major to minor. As my girlfriend's dad always says: major to minor is the key to great songwriting, look at The Beatles. You put a minor note over a major chord, and it ends up as something kind of menacing but really warm as well."

    Vocalist Yannis Philippakis added: "Some music nerd told me it has a 'tierce de picardie' – the end bit doesn't resolve in the way it's supposed to."
  • The albatross is a large oceanic bird, noted for its powerful gliding flight. Samuel Coleridge's poem The Ancient Mariner, tells the tragic story of a sailor who deliberately shoots down one of the great birds. The work was based on the old superstition of sailors that ill luck attended the killing of an albatross at sea. The bird now represents a past mistake that continues to burden or handicap a person - "an albatross around your neck."

    Artists that have recorded songs titled after the winged creature include: Judy Collins, Fleetwood Mac, Public Image Ltd, The Besnard Lakes, Wild Beasts, Big Wreck and AronChupa.
  • Here are a few albatross fun facts from The Encyclopedia of Trivia:

    The Albatross can glide on an air current for several days and are believed they even sleep while in flight. It apparently dozes while cruising at 25 mph.

    They can cover enormous distances, flying as far as 10,000 miles in 33 days, or up to 600 miles in one day.

    Albatrosses feed mainly on squid and fish.
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