Foster the People Are Back, and You're Underrating Them
My first taste of Foster the People was hearing KROQ's Locals Only playing "Pumped Up Kicks" in January 2011. My roommates and I sat in the back of my station wagon, waxing up surfboards and getting ready to paddle at El Porto in Manhattan Beach. I hadn't seen the music video, in which Foster and Co. surf the same exact spot, but it was one of those songs that immediately embodied that sonic California spirit.
Courtesy of the artist's Facebook page
Fast-forward three years and we've recently been given the first full taste of Foster the People's sophomore release, Supermodel, with "Coming of Age," a considerably spaced-out pop song from the band.
More than just a band whose vinyl is sold en masse at Urban Outfitters, Foster the People should have stayed on the collective radar for having released one of the best pop records of the past 10 years.
Torches, the L.A.-based band's 2011 release, did ride high on the commercial success of "Pumped Up Kicks," a song title that still causes people to either whistle that earworm of a hook or cringe in remembrance of its overplaying, but the record rode on so much more than just that single.
Torches, the singles it generated included, proved to be a nuanced work and a massive vehicle for Mark Foster's hooks. His past as a jingle writer shows in spades as virtually every song on the record has a hummable element to it, built around layered pop structures. As a whole, Torches was critically acclaimed, landing Grammy nominations and legendary endorsements like Elton John.