So about a weekish ago, I was at a bar talking to one of the bartenders about music. We were talking about our plans for music this summer, and he said he wasn’t doing much except for going to a show in Minneapolis. Naturally, I asked him what show he was going to and he said Foster the People. Intrigued by this new bit of music, I went home and did a little bit of diggin’ and found three songs by this new gem: Pumped Up Kicks, Houdini, and Helena Beat. I loved ’em, downloaded them and tried to put them on my iPod, but my technology blows (Acer Power, baby) so of course it didn’t work the first try. Even worse about that is the fact that I left my iPod chord at home as I left for the weekend.
All weekend, I kept trying to listen to more Foster the People to show them to my friends, and well, it happened less often than I would have liked. Also, I forgot to mention that I had no car for the weekend. When yesterday rolled around, I was hitchin’ for a ride back to Brookings, and some friends said they were going to go south for a shopscapade. They were kind enough to let me join them. One of the girls said she needed to get a camera, and that she needed to hit up Best Buy. Whilst there, I was browsing the cd’s and saw Foster the People in the new releases. $9.99? Yes, please.
Since I bought the cd around 8 pm last night, it hasn’t left a nearby cd player. I was so excited about it that I had to get online and read about these newly discovered virtuosos. I guess they’re just some dudes from LA that put out some songs, and they blew up on radio stations and the internet. From that, they must have been signed to Columbia Records. I don’t know that, but that’s the company that is on the label of the cd. So that says a shit load about the power of the internet.
The band exploded on Hype Machine (hypem.com), and it’s not surprising. The lyrics are a little dark and not necessarily sane, but they articulate such a confused rage that it translates beautifully over the synths, horns, and guitars. They remind me a little bit of Radiohead and a little bit like Passion Pit. But truthfully, their sound is surprisingly original and inspiring. For any independent artist, you love to hear success stories like Foster the People’s.
The dude who wrote all of the tracks by himself, with the exception of two which he co-wrote, Mark Foster, originally titled the band Foster and the People. Somehow the name morphed into Foster the People, which truthfully sounds awesome, and Foster adopted it openly. His voice is as distinguishable as Billy Corgan’s, and he is clearly a very smart songwriter. I know it’s really early, but I really believe the album will make Foster the People a strong contender for Best New Artist. They are about to blow the fuck up.
So, I guess this post was about two different things. First, how amazed I am that I actually bought a cd (take what you will from that). Second, how amazed I am that there’s a new artist that is this talented. I’m hoping there will be a lot more to come from Mark Foster, and in the interviews I’ve seen him in, he seems like he’s about the music rather than the money. His lyrics would seem to indicate that too. Regardless, “Torches” is an amazing album, and worth the money to purchase it. I would urge anyone to at least listen to it once through. You’ll thank me.