Completely abducting the airways with their hit single, “Pumped Up Kicks,” Foster the People could be called the next big thing, but we rather just call them really freaking cool. Los Angeles-based indie pop trio Mark Foster, Mark Pontius, and Cubbie Fink went from relative obscurity to “those guys who sing that one song… you know, that one,” in a flash, and now they’re being taken seriously as artists who might be on the brink of a pretty big new sound. Here’s why they’re just so darn cool:
They go with the flow.
Fact. The band’s original name was Foster & The People (Mark Foster started the group and does lead vocals), but when fans misheard and started calling them Foster the People, the guys liked the implications of the name and adopted it. Nothing says cool like adaptability.
They were discovered, not manufactured.
How’s this for a discovery story? Mark Foster recorded “Pumped Up Kicks” in 2010 and shortly after posted it as a free download on his website. Yes, you heard it right. The song that’s been playing nonstop on the radio for almost a year now (some radio stations started airing it in January of 2011) was a free download on some aspiring musician’s website. After Nylon Magazine used the song in an ad campaign, Foster’s inbox flooded, and it was only a matter of time before they were picked up by their label and started writing their fantastic debut album, Torches.
Their sound is original.
Indie pop isn’t a new concept, but you have to admit that “Pumped Up Kicks” is its own unique blend of upbeat and quirky. It’s easy to imagine it as the centerpiece of a summer indie flick soundtrack. The song isn’t very fast-paced, but somehow, it’s still a song you can dance to. Maybe it’s all the whistling.
They’ve got the WTF factor.
So… what is “Pumped Up Kicks” about? Go ahead, check out the lyrics. Not what we thought, either. “Pumped Up Kicks” lyrics are about a kid with a gun, and seem to allude to a school shooting. “All the other kids with the pumped up kicks, you better run, better run, outrun my gun All the other kids with the pumped up kicks better run, better run faster than my bullet.” Foster the People has coolly mastered the WTF factor – you can’t just listen once, you have to listen twice, and a third time… They’re going to be one of those bands that keeps surprising listeners and keeps them second-guessing, and that’s pretty cool.