Foster The People

Torches

Written by: TL on 07/02/2012 14:39:37

One of the most talked about new bands in indie music last year was Los Angeles-trio Foster The People. I'm a good little hipster, so I have of course been aware of this, and there's a reason for me not previously reviewing the band's debut album "Torches" - which came out all the way back in May - namely that Foster The People clearly are a lot more indie pop than indie rock, and that this places them somewhat on the border of what the readers of this site as well as I personally tend to take interest in. Eventually however, the band's record label - mighty Sony Music - sent the record over and asked if we couldn't write a piece anyway, and seeing as they generally ask nicely, I don't see a reason to be a dick and refuse.

As mentioned however, Foster The People are clearly more of a pop band than a rock band, in the way that you could much easier imagine listening to them from the speakers in your local Urban Outfitters, than at a traditional rock show. The soundscape is light-hearted and sunny, and driven by equal measures fleet-fingered guitars, pianos and electronics. The most rock-type references I can come up with would be bands like Cold War Kids or Vampire Weekend, but really, I think this is just as close - if not closer - to the likes of Empire Of The Sun and MGMT.

Working in the record's favour are the facts that it is an an easily accessible, super chill listen, with a solid offering of easily recognisable hooks to boot. You will almost certainly have heard some of them sounding from a radio somewhere, like "Pumped Up Kicks" with it's gimmicky little signature whistle - or the danceable "Call It What You Want", which offers a brazen little exchange in the second verse, as the question "What's your style and who do you listen to" is answered by a falsetto "WHOOOOOO cares?". Other standouts include the sentimental "I Would Do Anything For You" and the frantic "Miss You" which offers a refreshing change of pace towards the end of the album.

The only real problem I perceive with Foster The People and "Torches", is the same that I find in general, in music when it gets a little too poppy. The sound is based on a myriad of ingenious little light-weight sounds, but all together it still seems a bit fickle and shallow, and doesn't really pack the punch required to really engage your emotions and get you stoked. It has a plentiful serving of catchy moments however, and it's a perfectly bright little listen for those times when you need some cool, casual stuff as background music for either hanging out with someone or just brightening up your own day a bit.

7

Download: Call It What You Want, Pumped Up Kicks, I Would Do Anything For You
For The Fans Of: Empire Of The Sun, MGMT, Vampire Weekend, Cold War Kids
Listen: facebook.com/fosterthepeople

Release Date 23.05.2011
Sony Music Entertainment

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