First Listen: Pumped Up Kicks.

Foster The People – “Pumped Up Kicks”

I love clicking around on blogs, Soundcloud, Youtube, etc. and stumbling onto a band that I’ve never heard of before. Sometimes, you’re on a mission to find new music. Sometimes, you just happen to be bored. Either way, I love the feeling of finding new music that catches my ear.

It’s hard to explain what makes me stop and pay attention to a band. Not that I feel like I have such supreme taste in music that I’m hard to impress, but I feel like I have a very specific sound that I’m drawn to. When people ask me what type of music I like, I have a hard time describing it so often, I’ll just start listing off a bunch of bands that seem mismatched and out-of-place in comparison to each other.

Foster The People is one such band that I found just clicking through random links on Youtube. These guys are from Los Angeles, California and it definitely seeps through in their first single, “Pumped Up Kicks.” Its relaxed drum and bass line sit just behind the tempo, giving off a nonchalant, semi-drug induced fog to the song. Vocalist Mark Foster sings through a vintage filter and the song almost feels like early Strokes, had Julian Casablancas taken a couple of Ambien and a glass of red wine. It probably doesn’t help that Foster channels the same unwashed hair attitude as Casablancas.

The music video reflects the laid-back, almost lazy nature of the song, featuring clips of the guys on tour and pit stops in parking lots and on beaches. While the V-neck shirt count and vaguely dated metro faux-hawks feel incredibly forced, it’s still a fun video diary of sorts. But it seems accurate as well, considering the guys have been touring consistently over the last year. From the sounds of it, I think they’re actually at SXSW this week.

Anyway, check out their video posted at the top. Their debut album Torches is scheduled for May 24, 2011 so be sure to listen for that. I’ve also posted two other tracks I found online so have at it. When you’re done all of that, make sure you comment and let me know what you think of these guys.


“Helena Beat”