For album four, Foals teamed up with producer James Ford (Arctic Monkeys, Florence & The Machine, Jessie Ware, Mumford & Sons) and retreated to the South of France to record in a rural 19th-century mill. The result is a primal, intense, sometimes harrowing album of extremes - the record touches upon the depths of madness whilst also exhibiting some of the most beautiful pop songs the band have ever written. Lyrically, vocalist Yannis Philippakis deals with themes around cultural identity, generational anxiety, cynicism, pessimism and heartbreak; "I wanted to tap into my inner madman and feel like I was channeling some sort of fevered creature". Famously provocative, Philippakis is in turns destructive, obsessive, ambitious, and quick-witted with a razor-sharp tongue.
Foals have released three top ten albums to date: Antidotes (2007, album chart no 3), Total Life Forever (2010, no 8) and Holy Fire (2013, no 2). 2013 was the year that Foals broke through. Appearing high up the bill at festivals around the world, Foals became festival headliners in the UK, headlining Bestival, Latitude and Parklife, drawing the biggest crowds of the weekends. By the end of 2013 Foals had won another slew of awards: Best Live Act at the Q awards, Best Live Act at The Sun Bizarre awards, Best Single (Inhaler) at the NME awards and a Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize nomination (the band's second in a row).