Well, more like a sales pitch: Buy it! It is very good.
The group was formed two years ago in LA by Mark Foster who does vocals, synthesizer, piano, guitar, and more. To make it a sharp trio came Mark Pontius and Cubbie Fink. First hit Pumped Up Kicks got so popular last year that they got signed and released their debut album Torches this year.
The thing that separates them is they focus very heavily on making catchy chorus tunes. That often compensates for everything else. I know it’s nothing new, most performers try to do just that, but they achieve it. Their style of music is a little fusion but basically everything good pop is supposed to be… just updated for this decade. Mark also has this pleasant simple, straight, and bit rough around the edges voice. He often over-synthesizes his voice though. Here are some of the cool songs from the album:
- Helena Beat: happy little pop party. That’s why it’s the first track. The end makes you want to hit repeat.
- Pumped Up Kicks: The acoustic version he performs on radio is better than the one in album. This is a good example of how their music makes you forget that its lyrics are pretty twisted.
- Call It What You Want: Initially didn’t like it, but like I said it works because of the chorus. Again, the end makes you want to hear it again.
- Waste: Its words seem like someone genuinely smitten. Normally the music would seem too out-of-place but somehow works but maybe not symbiotically.
- I Would Do Anything For You: The Best song of the album. It’s what got my attention.
- Houdini: mostly for the music. Focus on your ability, focus on your ability…
- Life On The Nickel: ‘Gonna’ make it through’ kind of feel with quite a fast tempo.