Wake Me Up

Album: Life Is Yours (2021)
Charted: 98
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Songfacts®:

  • Foals wrote this disco-indebted song in a Peckham, SE London rehearsal room during the COVID pandemic. It finds Yannis Philippakis singing of how he wants to wake up in more idyllic circumstances after a year and a half of lockdown. "It's the perfect party tune for the reemergence of the world from the fever dream that's been the past 18 months," he told Apple Music.
  • Philippakis remembered the excitement as Foals wrote the rave-driven song, especially once it all came together. "We were on cloud nine, playing it on loop while the pandemic winter was wished away for that afternoon," he said. "It's a celebration of groove and rhythm for the dance floor."
  • When Foals wrote the funky, riff-driven tune, everything seemed so bleak with the pubs closed, no gigs, and COVID sweeping through Britain. Their "small and grunge-y" Peckham rehearsal room further enhanced the band's dreams of normalcy. "We just really wanted to write transporter music that would just take us out of that room and the current time and the whole situation with the pandemic," said Philippakis to NME. "We wanted to be transported anywhere else."

    "We were craving it for ourselves almost as musical therapy, but also definitely thinking, 'When and if things get back to normal, it's going to be a joyous explosion of energy'. We wanted to write music that anticipated that."
  • I'm dancing on the screens
    I'm dancing in the mountains where I've always been
    Hey, man, won't you wake me up?


    Philippakis wished to find himself anywhere but locked-down, wintry Britain. "I wanted to be in the finest place I'd ever seen. I wanted to be up in the mountains dancing, I wanted to be out of the fever dream that was the last 18 months," he said. "The main line, 'Wake me up' is saying, 'Pinch me – get me out of here'. It's pretty self-explanatory. There are a few voodoo curveballs in the lyrics, but it's just that feeling."
  • Foals had the opening riff since their 2019 album Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1. They tried several iterations of it, but nothing felt right. "It's a fine line, disco," guitarist Jimmy Smith told Apple Music. "If you're taking elements of the '70s, you have to handle with care because it's very, very easy to go too cheesy, and that kept happening."

    Philippakis reintroduced the riff during the band's Peckham sessions and it all seemed to click. "He added that verse riff," said Smith, "and we were like, 'Oh, my word!' We just Lego-ed it together, put a chorus together, and then our amazing production team put their sparkles on it."

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