Foals “Olympic Airways”

Dave Ma
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October 10, 2008


Autumnal greetings programmers! It’s Andy Gesner and the staff here at HIP Video Promo as we continue to spread the word about Foals, their fabulous debut album, and their strange and beautiful videos. And the work hasn’t been hard: music lovers in America continue to recognize the Oxford combo as one of the world’s most visionary experimental pop bands. For many, Antidotes was the soundtrack to summer 2008 – a twinkling, angular, rhythmically sophisticated art-punk masterpiece. As tracks like “Balloons”, “Cassius”, and the epic “Red Socks Pugie” have become playlist favorites and instant underground classics, Foals have leapfrogged to the front of the dance-rock pack. The seasons may have changed, but the winning streak doesn’t let up: “Olympic Airways”, the newest single, might be the subtlest, sweetest, and most seductive Foals track yet. And we’re pleased to announce that it’s got a video to match: one shot, according to the director, on the most gorgeous day of the summer. What they do with that odd, luminous, and weirdly magical day is the subject of Dave Ma’s expressive clip.

Now, we love it when bands – particularly independent-minded bands – find a video director who shares their sensibilities. A regular director becomes, over time, attuned to a group’s singularity; his camera becomes an expressive instrument for the musicians; he becomes part of the team. Over the course of several videos and some very amusing YouTube and mySpace clips, Dave Ma has helped the Foals develop a visual signature and style that’s nearly as striking as their music. He’s shot the group in unique locations: strange interiors, makeshift stages, old reservoirs. In the promethean clip for “Balloons”, he threw a party in a twisted and partially burning living room, and set the band (and friends) dancing around the flames.

But he loves direct sunlight best. The “Red Socks Pugie” clip opened with images of the band outdoors, partially occluded by marsh-grass; they sat among the tall reeds, faces half visible in a latticework of crazy shadows. For the “Olympic Airways” clip, Dave Ma has pushed the band deeper into the woods – here, in a forest clearing, the high sun peeks through a canopy of leaves. And the director always seems to be shooting from the floor of the glade; faces of the bandmembers and friends silhouetted against the sky. Clearly the Foals are comfortable with Dave Ma’s camera: they look utterly relaxed, natural, at home in the grass.

But this is no ordinary outdoor concert they’re giving. A giant red ball – thrown by a friend – nearly beans the bass player. Paint is slung on the musicians, and by the end of the clip, their bodies are covered in pigment. Most of this action is shot in slo-mo; it’s all dreamy, like a half-remembered forest idyll, drunk on sunlight. By the middle of the clip, they’re busting up the makeshift “house” set they’ve constructed in the clearing – the musicians take hammers to a door and hurl it across the glade. But the still shots are arresting too: the Foals and friends, once again seated in the tall grass, black balloons hovering all around their impassive faces.

It is always a tremendous pleasure to work with Lacey Swain and Megan Jasper to champion another phenomenal clip from Foals. We also have a healthy supply of their new album Antidotes, so don’t forget to reach out and get a copy for your on-air giveaways and contests. If you need more info, call Andy Gesner at 732-613-1779 or e-mail us at You can also visit to find out more about Foals.

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For info about Foals’ “Balloons” video, click HERE

For info about Foals’ “Red Socks Pugie” video, click HERE