Red Socks Pugie

Album: Antidotes (2008)


  • The Foals have a habit of writing indescribably baffling lyrics and this is no exception. It appears to be about the fevered rush and excitement of falling in love, but what are the images of wasp nests, terminals and vessels about? At times it can also be difficult to make out what the frontman and lyricist Yannis Philippakis is actually singing, and it appears the other members of the band are just as unsure. When, in an interview for The Stool Pigeon magazine the Foals keyboardist Edwin Congreave was asked which was the song where Yannis keeps singing the word 'vessels', he replied that he had no idea which one, and cheerfully admitted that even he doesn't know what Philippakis is singing a lot of the time.
  • In the same interview with The Stool Pigeon magazine, Yannis Philippakis was asked if he intentionally kept things ambiguous in his lyrics. The Foals frontman replied: "I think that's what lyrics should do. Otherwise I think people become stale very quickly. If you listen to a song twice and you've totally nailed what's going on in a song... I like the idea that it's almost like a relay or something. You pass on the baton and the listener takes it somewhere different. I find that far more exciting than if I were to sing about the specifics of my childhood or about one of my friends who'd been in a car accident. It's gotta be in some way more abstract, because I think it suits the music."
  • Philippakis expanded on his ambigious lyric writing in an interview with Mojo magazine July 2008: "I'm never gonna chain myself to a narrative style of writing. Why do people still expect lyrics in the tradition of the singer-songwriter? Why should I tether a lyric to something pedestrian like breaking up with my girlfriend or being stuck in a bad disco in the Czech Republic? Music is about escapism and is innately psychedelic. That's why in a fairly straightforward pop song like 'Red Socks Pugie', I sing about wasp's nests and airport terminals, contexts in your head and setting things on fire. I like hallucinogenic and synaesthetic qualities to writing, Burroughs and Huxley. I don't give a f-k about Sebastian Faulks' Birdsong."


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