We first came across this Los Angeles three piece last summer, when the Neon Gold independent label/blog started to shout about them, with their summery soundtrack, ‘Pumped Up Kicks‘. It was a good sign of what was to come from Foster The People, with their light touch jamming out a smooth, breezy, low-key track, that suits their sunny disposition. Melodic, sunburned and armed with a playful, catchy chorus, this was a tune that weighed absolutely nothing on the musical scales, but charmed with every move.
Sadly it felt so lightweight it virtually had no impact on us. It was pleasant and sweet, but there was no lasting taste on the tongue. It felt like summertime itself – gorgeous and enjoyable, but over too soon and eventually forgotten. We pondered about offering them coverage on The Recommender, but decided to wait and see what else would emerge from them.
Admittedly it took far too long, but thankfully a second track arrived as a free offering this January. It seems the initial backing from Neon Gold has got them picked up by the major Columbia label now, so we can expect a lot more from the band in 2011. Their debut EP is scheduled to arrive on January 25th and contains the new track, ‘Helena Beat‘.
Personally, we think they would have been better to wait until the weather improves as it simply doesn’t work soundtracking this cold wind and rain, but in fairness perhaps the full debut album is scheduled for the sunshine months.
If the new song is a taste of what is to come then the EP and eventual album will be one to look out for. The beat has thankfully picked up and the breezy style is now found blowing a whole new groove. The vocals are still twee, but there’s more energy and fizz, with enjoyable, rumbling synths and they’ve clearly maintained their ability to hook you into a chorus. It’s like the MGMT of old, before they disappeared up their own behinds, with a step-step-clap pace and a middle eight break.
This is proper pop, with a very broad appeal, and although it won’t particularly stand up in ten years time, for it lacks any serious impact, it will prove to be a decent theme for your summer. At least the signs of life are very much there and if they’ve got any bigger hits in the bag, then you may well see them all over the place in 2011. They have a few dates lined up at the end of January in California, in support of the EP, followed by more dates in Australia in February. That suggests they are rightfully playing where the sun is currently shining, but if you’re not antipodean, and particularly if you suffer from S.A.D, then we strongly suggest a dose of the two tunes below and that will undoubtedly get you through to the sunshine months. (MB)
FOSTER THE PEOPLE – HELENA BEAT
FOSTER THE PEOPLE – PUMPED UP KICKS