Since 2009, the indie-pop band Foster the People has been both terrifying and inspiring people through music. Granted, some of their songs definitely have a darker flare but in some cases, that is precisely what makes them so appealing.
Based in Los Angeles and taking their name after the surname of the lead singer, Mark Foster, this is definitely a band worth listening to. Below are 10 of their best songs.
Check them out and see what you think.
10. Coming of Age (2014)
This is sort of like a modern-day love song for teenagers. It’s got a certain amount of anger to it, especially with regard to the type of anger that seems to run so rampantly through modern-day society. At the same time, it’s talking about dealing with the trials and tribulations of being in love, especially when things don’t always go according to plan.
It seems like sort of an odd mix to sing about this level of anger while simultaneously talking about loving someone, but this is a group that is well-known for putting things in songs that make people do a double-take. This one is definitely no exception.
9. Waste (2011)
Many people agree that it is difficult to tell exactly what this song is about. The lyrics talk about holding someone else’s hand and refusing to let go, even during the darkest of times.
They also directly reference pretending to see what that individual is seeing. For many, this has solidified the theory that the song is about someone descending into mental illness while their loved ones are forced to stand by and watch it happen. There’s no doubt that this is a terrifying prospect.
The one bright spot in the song is that the individual in the lyrics does choose to stick by this individual, even though they’re clearly going through an exceptionally difficult time that they may or may not recover from.
8. Call It What You Want (2011)
This song refers to both emotional and physical abuse. It is written from the perspective of the person being abused. In the lyrics, they talk about what that abuse has done to them and how they are at their breaking point.
At one critical juncture in the song, the person telling the story is saying that they’re no longer going to allow this to happen and that they will do whatever it takes to put a stop to the abuse. It’s both a terrifying and poignant song that deals with a topic that is largely taboo.
7. I Would Do Anything for You (2011)
As you might have already imagined from the title, this is a song that talks about loving someone so much that you would literally do anything in the world for them, no matter what that entails. Of course, it’s performed in traditional Foster the People fashion. As a direct result, some of the lyrics might leave you feeling like the person telling the story is slightly deranged. That being said, the underlying sentiment is still rather heartwarming.
6. Don’t Stop (2011)
This is a song about refusing to settle. The person in the song is telling a story about wanting better things in the future for both himself and the person that he loves. He goes on to discuss how important it is to keep going, taking those small steps that are so often required for anyone to get where they truly want to be in life.
Moreover, the song encourages people not to stop trying until they get where they want to be, even on those days when it feels like it would be easier to simply walk away from everything and start over again.
5. Helena Beat (2011)
The title of this song is misleadingly relaxed. If you think you’re about to get some song with a Latin flare that makes you want to dance the night away, think again. Instead, this is a song about dying, over and over again.
It tells the story of a person who has lived many lives and experienced many deaths over the course of years and years. Furthermore, the song goes on to talk about how important it is to figure out what you want out of life and then go for it, largely because you never know how long you have to accomplish those things.
There are lyrics in the song that specifically reference either learning to get what you want out of life or allow life to control you. Before you know it, you’ve run out of chances. It’s a very dark song but it also has an important point to it. No one is guaranteed tomorrow, so if there is something you’ve really been wanting to do, what are you waiting for?
4. Imagination (2019)
This is another song with an oddly deceptive title. It’s not really about anything to do with a person’s imagination, other than the fact that they imagine having a happy life with their significant other when they are in fact anything but happy.
The entire song centers around how they don’t get along. At one point, the singer does daydream about the two of them having a happy life, but then is brought back to reality almost immediately.
3. Houdini (2011)
Believe it or not, this song is all about war. It is definitely not about the famous magician that inspired the title, but instead about the idea of repressed people refusing to conform to whatever their captors want them to conform to.
It talks about how even if these individuals kill the people who are oppressed, others will be right there waiting to take up the fight where they left off. It’s characteristically dark but it also tells an important story. We live in a world where people are constantly being oppressed for various reasons. The song has become something of a battle cry for these individuals.
2. Pumped Up Kicks (2011)
This is probably one of the most messed up songs the group has ever put out there, and it’s also one of their most popular singles to ever hit the airwaves. Again, the song is dealing with the subject of abuse. It also talks about how the person being abused, a teenager, finally snaps and kills not only the abuser, but everyone else in the home as well.
1. Sit Next to Me (2017)
When you see the title of this one, you might be thinking it’s a sweet love song about wanting the love of your life to sit beside you through thick and thin. It’s definitely not anything like that. The song is actually about a person who is going through rehab and in group therapy.
In the therapy session, the individual in question is brutally honest, talking about thoughts and feelings that most people would probably be afraid to mention. The person (or people) sitting next to him are those who are in a similar situation, often the only ones who might actually be able to understand what he’s going through.
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