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Breaking Artist: Foals

March 19, 2008 5:06 PM ET

Who: Foals, a buzzy U.K. post-punk act that digs funky African grooves and is more than willing to rock a house party.

Sounds Like: Frontman Yannis Philippakis, drummer Jack Bevan, guitarist Jimmy Smith, bassist Walter Gervers and keyboardist Edwin Congreave spike their propulsive rhythms with lean, sparkling guitar lines and riotous chants that Philippakis says were inspired by Alan Lomax chain-gang recordings. Cuts like "Balloons" and "Cassius" feature funky guitar riffs, horns played by the Brooklyn Afro-beat group Antibalas, and the atmospheric production of TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek, whose studio techniques included running drums through distortion pedals.

Vital Stats:

• In addition to the cinematic quality of their music, the band shares a love of movies, which helped spawn their name. "Larry [Schemel, guitarist and employee at L.A.'s famed Amoeba Records] has a huge Sixties and Seventies horror movie collection," Olivier says. "There was a book on his shelf called Midnight Movies, and when we played our first gig we didn't have a name so he just wrote that down."

• Besides singing in a band, Olivier also knows her way around a kitchen. "I love cooking. It's right up there with music for me," Olivier says, talking about her job as a twice-a-week chef for a Beverly Hills family. "I never had culinary training. I totally use the Rachael Ray book when I go there."

• Not only does the band cover the Moody Blues' "Nights in White Satin," they cover it twice: Once in English and once in French as "Mes Reves Des Satin." "I heard the song on a Femme de Paris compilation, and there's a version by [Sixties French singer] Patricia that we wanted to cover," Olivier says. "So that's why we did it in French."

Hear It Now: The band's new self-titled EP is on iTunes now, along with their first two albums. Check out the above video to watch and hear Nick Zinner's remix of the band's "Souvenirs."

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Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

Tag Team | 1993

Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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