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Foster the People

Foster the People

Los Angeles indie rock trio Foster the People make atmospheric, psychedelic, dance-oriented pop music. The band broke through with their 2010 single "Pumped Up Kicks," which received significant airplay on KROQ before going viral online. Early in 2011, they released a self-titled EP that featured the song, and after a slow climb, it peaked inside the Top Ten later that year. Also in 2011, Foster the People issued their full-length debut album, Torches, which hit number eight on the U.S. charts. Three years later, they returned with their sophomore full-length, the Paul Epworth-produced Supermodel, hitting number three on the Billboard 200. Third album Sacred Hearts Club featured the single "Sit Next to Me," which charted just outside the Top 40. Following a tenth anniversary edition of their debut album, Foster the People delivered their fourth full-length with 2024's Paradise State of Mind.

Formed in 2009 in Los Angeles, Foster the People initially started out as a solo project of multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter Mark Foster. However, before long he added longtime friend Cubbie Fink on bass and drummer Mark Pontius to complete the lineup. The following year, their single "Pumped Up Kicks" was posted on their website, picking up considerable buzz online and significant airplay on KROQ, alongside packed performances at the Texas musical festival SXSW. This inevitably attracted the attention of major labels, and eventually the band signed to the Columbia imprint Startime International. Early in 2011 they released a self-titled EP that featured "Pumped Up Kicks," and with the major-label support, the song became a worldwide hit.

Despite the rapid climb of the single, the bandmembers were afforded time to concentrate on writing their debut full-length, while "Pumped Up Kicks" grew in popularity and was featured on television shows including the likes of Gossip Girl, Homeland, and a host of commercials. Later that summer the band released its debut record, Torches, which was produced mainly by Greg Kurstin (Kelly Clarkson, Ellie Goulding), with Paul Epworth (Adele, Friendly Fires) also contributing to a handful of tracks. They then embarked on tours across North America and Europe to support its release. In 2012 they took home the Billboard Music Awards' Top Rock Song accolade, and were nominated for a host of other honors, including the Grammy, BRIT, NME, and Teen Choice awards.

Foster the People began writing material for their sophomore record while on tour, and they laid tracks down on a portable setup before they entered the studio. The Paul Epworth-produced Supermodel was released in March 2014. The album found the group embracing a wider array of instrumentation, including horns, pedal steel guitar, and harpsichord, as well as synths and mix of analog and programmed percussion. It performed better than its predecessor, reaching number three on the U.S. album chart. Two singles, "Coming of Age" and "Best Friend," hit the Top Ten of the alternative chart. The following year, Fink left the band, with the rest of Foster the People issuing the single "The Unforeseeable Fate of Mr. Jones" that December.

In 2016, the group debuted material from its upcoming third album in concert, and eventually released three of those songs on an EP in April 2017. In July 2017 they delivered the full-length Sacred Hearts Club, which found them exploring a funky, electronic, '80s-style R&B vibe. Produced by Foster and keyboardist Isom Innis along with Josh Abraham, Lars Stalfors, and Oligee, the album featured the singles "Loyal Like Sid & Nancy" and "Sit Next to Me," the latter of which received the remix treatment in 2018 from the Grammy-winning R&B/hip-hop/dance production team the Stereotypes. It returned them to the Top 50 of the Billboard 200 and reached number eight on the Top Alternative Albums chart. 2018 also saw the release of the upbeat, one-off single "Worst Nites," followed a year later by another standalone single, "Style."

The band's fourth EP, In the Darkest of Nights, Let the Birds Sing arrived in December 2020. Largely recorded remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it included the single "Lamb's Wool," which they released both as a solo track and as a feature with Poolside. In May 2021, Foster the People marked the tenth anniversary of their debut album with a deluxe Torches X edition, featuring added and remixed tracks, including the single "Broken Jaw." That October, drummer Pontius amicably left the group to focus on his family, leaving Foster as the sole remaining founding member, alongside instrumentalists Isom Innis and Sean Cimino (both of whom had come on board in 2010 and joined full-time in 2017). The same month, they released the Deadmau5 collaborative single "Hyperlandia."

A single," Lost in Space," arrived in May 2024 as the first track released off the group's fourth full-length, Paradise State of Mind. Produced by Foster and Innis, the album marked the last with multi-instrumentalist Cimino, who left the band following the recording sessions. ~ Matt Collar & Scott Kerr

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