Sunday, August 14, 2011

Foster the Kicks

It is very rare for me to find a good interest and liking of a song that came out only a year ago. Mostly my interest in songs tend to focus on ones decades prior to a year ago. Other than The Raconteurs' 'Steady as She Goes,' and a song called 'Around the Bend' by Danish group 'Asteroid Galaxy Tour' (I'll be writing a separate piece on that later) as well as this song, there are no others.

The reasons I like those two others, in a nutshell, is largely because they sound similar to other songs from the many years ago category, or borrow styles or instrumentation. 'Steady As She Goes' is 'Is She Really Going Out With Him' with different lyrics and in a slightly lower key.

This one was released in 2010 and is titled 'Pumped up Kicks' by Foster the People.

I discovered it when overhearing it on the TV in my mother's room, which I have already explained is a source for a lot of older music that my mother listens too and thus I end up listening to (without complaint, it's good music). I heard this prominent, nice, colorful and positive-sounding bass line, and the chorus sounded interesting as well. At that time, however, I had misheard them as I usually do the first time and thought they'd gone 'I'll be with the kids.'

It made me think of myself looking after my half-siblings last summer, or my friend Elliot's busy parenting lifestyle with his young children.

The contrast between what I thought the song was about and what it's about is pretty big. Instead of being with kids, rather, it's about shooting them up.

Also, and I'm just putting it out there before I dive into the content of the song, the bass line of the entire song (which never changes) made me think during my ignorance of large families of children, namely the Royal Tenenbaums, a movie I saw once and like. In a positive way.

I ended up having to read the lyrics online. It simply tells the story of a teenager who has the desire to shoot and kill as much of his peers as he can. It is implied that he was bullied or teased by them.

When a review of the song I read brought up the Columbine Massacre twelve years ago, I decided to do some research and read up on it. Yeah, the main character in this song might as well be a reincarnation of one of those two boys.

The music is pretty contrasted to the lyrics. I read that it was written first, then the lyrics. It's interesting when bands or artists decide to contrast their music and lyrics. Usually it's with upbeat, happy music and sad lyrics. I don't think I've heard sad music and happy lyrics before. Good examples of sad songs with bright music are Madness's 'Crying Shame' and (to get away from Madness) Steely Dan's 'Reelin' In the Years.'
Maybe I should try and write happy lyrics to sad music? See how it sounds?

The music video to the song, to me, makes no sense at all. It's rather just a large amount of random scenes spliced together of members of Foster the People doing leisurely activities, being silly, and playing on stage what looks like a rather loud rock song. I get that idea from the body language and the way the lead singer seems to be screaming sometimes.

Ironically, before I looked it up and listened properly, I'd thought the song came from the 1970s because it sounded so cheerful and bass-driven. It had this indie sound to it. Instead, when I mentioned liking this song on Facebook, a friend of mine was able to ask the DJ at the bar on my birthday to play a song they actually had because it was very recent. He'd originally asked, to my surprise and awkwardness, to have the bar play 'Our House.' I really am tired of people thinking that's my song or my only real favorite song, or the only one I am known to like. Its lost it's shocking, heavenly appeal to me seven years ago. I like Madness for their entire sound, their every B-side, album track, history, image, and effort. Not entirely and just for 'Our House.'

'Pumped up Kicks' is a pretty good song for its sound, and it has a message to it. That gives the single from the band its appeal to me, and I have something my friends can ask to have played on my birthday at the bar. That and those other two songs.
The bass begins in F by the way. I've comprised an entire organ part to it as well.
Lyrics: B+
Music: A-
Music video: C

"He's coming for you, he's coming for you..."

Justin C.

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