Foster the People much more than 'Pumped up Kicks'


When people notice the black bracelet on my left wrist labeled "Foster the People," I get an interesting variety of responses.

Usually people either ask if "that is that one band that sings that one song about pumped up kicks," or they automatically start humming the chorus, struggling to remember any of the words after the first line.

Though I can't help but laugh, I can't help but be scared as well. This is the same treatment that such musical artists as Vanilla Ice and Baha Men receive.

Unfortunately, many people think Foster the People and its hit single "Pumped up Kicks" belong in the ‘one hit wonder' category as well.

This trio is new, forming in Los Angeles in 2009, but is still impactful. Released in September of 2010, "Pumped up Kicks" hit mainstream by the beginning of summer and has become a sensation among indie and young adult crowds.

The song has received plenty of acclaim and success, reaching No. 3 on the Billboard top 100. It has been nominated by MTV for best new rock video and has helped push the band to a best new artist nomination as well.

This may seem like the best a band could offer, but in this unusual circumstance, that is completely incorrect.

Anyone who settles for this song and doesn't dive into the wonders that lie on the "Torches" album is missing out on quite a lot, including these gems:

"Helena Beat"

For many reasons, this song has become my favorite that Foster has produced. With a repetitive drum line and symbol with a laughing sound as a backdrop, this song has an unorthodox beginning. As the bass drops, this song becomes very interactive. The backdrop gets heavier as lead singer Mark Foster's light voice leads into a powerful chorus and drum solo bridge. With such a combination, it is tough for me to not listen every chance I get.

"Don't Stop (Color on the Walls)"

This song is instantly recognizable if you've seen any of the new Nissan commercials. This is another of Foster's songs that instantly gives off a happy-go-lucky, summer vibe.  Simple and smooth rhyming lyrics make this one an enjoyable sing along, and a simple guitar rhythm in the back makes this tune hard not to whistle along with. Though not as fast or recognizable, this song gives off a feel that's similar to some Vampire Weekend tunes.


This is definitely one of the most underrated and under-appreciated songs that I have come across in recent years. "Warrant" starts off with an angelic beginning that is slowly joined by other instruments. An individual separate drum leads the festivities as the bass joins with a simple walk. A kick drum giving off the feel of a heart throbbing joins as well as a late piano, which segue perfectly into Mark Foster's high, distinct voice. This song is truly a jam, utilizing all of the separate elements that each instrument offers to gel into one smooth work of art.

Narrowing this album into three songs was a challenge, to say the least.  It offers quite a variety, but flows together and somehow complements itself. Though it may take awhile, I strongly suggest listening to the album all the way through. The 11-song compilation will do wonders for any long car ride, rainy day or procrastination.

If you are excited by what the album has to offer, there is an opportunity coming up to see Foster the People live. Foster will be performing in Indianapolis on Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 8 p.m. at the Vogue Theatre. Tickets are running for around $60 now on StubHub. After seeing the band live, front row at the House of Blues in Chicago, I can honestly say that a show by Foster the People is one to remember.


Easterhouse is a freshman from Evergreen Park, Ill., majoring in communications.