Sometime in 2009, a friend directed me to Foster the People’s website (not Myspace, but official site) — there was a photo of these four hipster dudes dressed in suits for a party and playing with balloons. There was a little music player at the bottom of the page with just two songs. Not much other information to go on.
Upon first listen I wasn’t blown away by “Pumped Up Kicks,” but a few months later another friend put the track on a Best of 2010 compilation. I gave the song another chance and was drawn to the airy simplicity, really odd lyrics and undeniable chorus: “all the other kids with the pumped up kicks/better run/better run/outrun my gun”. Which it turns out is about an outcast kid who slowly goes insane. Outrun my gun, indeed.
Somewhere in the last year, “Pumped Up Kicks” hit #2 on Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart and the band has hit the festival circuit. Their debut album Torchesdropped on Tuesday and is being touted as the next (old?) MGMT — “Pumped” is really the only straightforward pop on there, and the rest is indie dance that’ll make it a good contender for 2011 summer jams. AOL is still streaming the album in full here, but you can get it on iTunes for $7.99.
Check out the video for “Pumped Up Kicks”: