”Torches” is the first album released by Foster the People.
It can be defined as a ‘lightweight’ summer record, with that touch of electronic music and reminiscent of old-school vibes; in 2011 it was undoubtedly an innovative album.
The unique privilege about ‘Torches’ is that it seems to belong exclusively to the listener, anyone who hears this record for the first time cannot help the feeling of someone who just discovered the greatest band all by themselves.
Thanks to the combination of the genres indie and pop have opened the entrance to the mainstream; keeping the satisfaction to be an unusual and original album, well seen by the audience.
However, the music society was, and still is obsessed with record labels and brands, claiming their ownership and control of most pop artists, or at least the most successful.
All the ten songs on the album, although apparently sparkling and catchy, danceable, and melodious to listen, have a particular meaning. Of course, as in every song, everyone has their way of interpreting it when the lyrics don’t explicitly reveal the sense, but only in general form.
”Pumped Up Kicks” is a daydream song, in the mind of an angry kid with some issues. It’s what can be called the ‘song of a lifetime’, it’s that song that clicks and everything fits together perfectly.
A minimal and joyful upbeat, that perhaps hides a profound and powerful message. This song is a daydream in the mind of an angry kid with some issues.
In an interview for Rolling Stone Mark Foster said ‘I was trying to get inside the head of an isolated, psychotic kid.’ The song shrieks about the epidemic issues of gun violence, but this problem can be a consequence of the absence of the family or the irreplaceable love that comes from their loved ones or just from self-isolation.
Kids who have nowhere to go, or anyone to talks to, that’s what makes them snap into wrong thought. He wrote first the melody and then the lyrics, that’s why they have their own identity!
”Call it What You Want” is a song that must be listened to whilst watching the video. It starts with a message: ‘Idle minds are the Devil’s workshop”. The song itself is already self-explanatory, but it reminds us how modern society is full of conformists and how people are quick to judge whoever is ‘different’ from them.
The message I perceive is that for the band, becoming famous is not their priorities; they will not be the stereotypical band that gets addicted to spotlight.
For them it’s not about money or transforming themselves in what society wants, it’s a strong message saying to stay who you are and to do whatever makes you happy inspiring others, keeping yourself free from all the barriers that society impose.
‘I am going to be myself and not the person everyone wants to see or expects me to be’.
”Torches” is an original album, in 2018 it’s still modern because of the messages enclosed in most of the tracks.