Behind the sweet pop melody of Pumped up Kicks are the seriously deep lyrics of Mark Foster which continue to flow throughout the debut album, Torches and the latest single, Call What You Want.

“I was trying to get inside the head of an isolated, psychotic kid,” said Mark Foster to Rolling Stones about Pumped up Kicks. Unless you listen up, it’s a hard one to pick – hidden under overly poppy beats from Foster’s band members. Released in 2010, it took a while before Pumped up Kicks was picked up by mainstream audiences. But when it finally made light, it turned the small LA based group (of Foster, Mark Pontious and Cubby Fink) into a sensation. The follow up single, Helena Beat, carried on with the heavy hitting lyrics to pop/indie sweet beats and came with a bonus Ace Norton (Block Party, Death Cab for Cutie, Scissor Sisters) video clip that carried through with the song’s darker focus.

The sound of Torches is a mix of pop, indie and alternative sounds which gel together to produce something along the lines of Coldplay meets Death Cab for Cutie meets Mika. It’s a unique sound that works as both a background crowd pleaser and a Sunday thinker session CD. The heavy beats carry throughout the entire CD, making it one which will stimulate rather than relax the mind – and being that most of the songs should be peeled back to reveal additional layers (songs such as I Would do Anything for You are notable exceptions) of meaning, it’s a suitable sound.

Foster the People (originally Foster and the People until the media got it wrong and the new name stuck) have just released the third single from the album, Call it What You Want, produced by Mark Foster and Paul Epworth.

Chances are that there is something in this album you will enjoy, no matter what type of music you’re into, such is the unique juxtaposition of the sounds. But it leans more towards pop and indie aficionados.

Price: $11.99 (iTunes)
Web: Foster the People