Formed in Oxford, England as a way to protest against the proggier sounds that were popular at the time. The quintet worked on perfecting its poppy, jittery, upbeat, math rock/post-punk sound by playing house parties around the area, and soon the group was signed to Transgressive Records, which released the singles “Hummer” and “Mathletics” in April and August of 2007, respectively. Foals picked up quite a buzz in the U.K., and released the full-length album Antidote in March of 2008, while Sub Pop picked up the album in the U.S. and gave it an April release, adding two neglected singles as bonus tracks.
Two years later the band returned with its sophomore album, Total Life Forever, released by Transgressive Records. After having songs appear on shows like Entourage and Misfits, the band returned in early 2013 with its third album, the expansive and more balanced Holy Fire, Foals’ first record to chart outside of Western Europe, cracking the Billboard 200 in the U.S. and topping the album chart in Australia. A concert DVD/Blu-ray, Live at the Royal Albert Hall, followed that fall, and picking up where Holy Fire left off, the steady What Went Down arrived in the summer of 2015.
RUN THE JEWELS
A one-off project that quickly evolved into a hip-hop superduo, Run the Jewels feature rappers El-P and Killer Mike. Formed after El-P produced Killer Mike’s 2012 album R.A.P. Music, the duo released Run the Jewels in 2013, an album credited to Killer Mike and El-P and released on Fool’s Gold. Critically popular and with a sizable fan base to boot, Run the Jewels quickly evolved into a going concern when their sophomore effort, RTJ2, landed in 2014. A crowd-funded remix version of the album with all music replaced by samples of cats was released in 2015 as Meow the Jewels. It featured guest appearances from Portishead’s Geoff Barrow, Dan the Automator, and Internet sensation Lil Bub.
Formed in 2012 by singer Lyndsey Gunnulfsen, alt-rock trio PVRIS blend dreamy electronica with dark, beat-heavy rock. The Lowell, Massachusetts-based group also features former I Am the Fallen guitarist Alex Babinski and bassist Brian Macdonald. They delivered their self-titled debut EP in early 2013, building up their profile as a live act with some summer dates on the Vans Warped Tour and in the fall joining the Rise Up Tour with A Skylit Drive, Wolves at the Gate, and For All Those Sleeping. Teaming up with producer Blake Harnage (Versa), they entered the studio to work on their first album. In June 2014 PVRIS announced that they had signed with Rise Records, becoming the first female-fronted act on the famed metalcore label’s roster. Their debut album, White Noise, arrived in November of that year.
British indie rock trio the Wombats make driving guitar post-punk and electronic-influenced pop. Formed in Liverpool in 2003 while the members were all attending the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, the Wombats feature vocalist/guitarist Matthew Murphy, drummer Dan Haggis, and Norwegian-born bassist Tord Øverland-Knudsen. In 2006, the Wombats released their debut single, the Japan-only “Girls, Boys and Marsupials.” Several singles followed before the release of the band’s 2007 debut album, A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation. A year later, they released the Wombats EP on Bright Antenna. In 2011, the Wombats released their sophomore album, This Modern Glitch, featuring production from such modern rock stalwarts as Eric Valentine, Butch Walker, and Jacknife Lee, and in 2015, they returned with their third full-length album, the synth-heavy Glitterbug, which featured production from Mark Crew and included the singles “Greek Tragedy” and “Give Me a Try.”
WILL AND THE PEOPLE
British band Will and the People was formed in 2010 after meeting at the Glastonbury music festival. The group consists of Will Rendle on vocals, Charlie Harman on drums, Jim Ralphs on keyboards, and Jamie Rendle on bass. The band draws their inspiration from the music of The Beatles, The Doors, Supertramp, Bob Marley, The Police, John Lennon, and Jerry Lee Lewis. They released their self-titled debut album in May of 2012, which reached number 28 on the Dutch Top 100 album charts. In January 2013 their second album, Friends, was issued, followed by Whistleblower in 2014.