If you’ll just give us a minute to pick ourselves up off the floor… Foals have surpassed even the blazing energy of their most recent record with their cover of Florence + The Machine’s What Kind Of Man. Performing on BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge this week, Yannis and the band absolutely ripped up Flo’s stomping, empowered anthem, bending the track to their own explosive will.
Exchanging the original orchestral arrangements for synths and electronic ambience, and carrying the riff with a pumping electric guitar – weighed down by more distortion than even a self respecting metal band might opt for, the band blew the track apart with this rendition. In Foals’ hands, Florence’s distinctive sound takes on an 80’s vibe, echoing new wave synths and industrial feels. Wailing grit from Yannis Philippakis stretches out the lyrics, barely holding onto them through his slightly unhinged delivery. Without over egging the performance, Foals manage to create a massive sound to match the original.
And just when you think it’s over, they rise again with a rendition of the breakdown from their album title track What Went Down. Rattling over the string of disturbed mutterings, launching the band into the final frenetic push with a return Florence’s refrain, thrashing out blood, sweat and tears with their finish. It’s a punishingly brilliant cover, and as the band themselves point out, it’s a high bar to reach. Check out the video below to see what we mean.
And now if you’ll excuse us, we’re just going to go sit quietly for a bit…