Foster The People are often first thought of as the band with the big, bold pop hooks and synth-filled radio friendly hits. Perhaps one of the most creative bands of their generation, Foster The People are actually mining lyrical gold, burying some excellent stories and emotions underneath their songs shiny exteriors. These are some of their five best lyrics to date.
Taking its name from famous contortionist and stuntman Harry Houdini, this song is frontman Mark Foster’s clever take on the internal battle people face with the fear of rejection and handling stress.
“Got shackles on, my words are tied
Fear can make you compromise
With the lights turned up, it's hard to hide
Sometimes I wanna disappear”
4. "Pumped Up Kicks"
Everyone remembers the catchy chorus from “Pumped Up Kicks” that destroyed the airwaves in 2012, but the opening refrain was one of the band’s best lines to date. What few people know about the fun pop song is that it is actually about the mental illness that plagues American teenagers.
“Robert's got a quick hand
He'll look around the room, he won't tell you his plan
He's got a rolled cigarette, hanging out his mouth he's a cowboy kid
Yeah found a six shooter gun
In his dad's closet hidden oh in a box of fun things, I don't even know what
But he's coming for you, yeah he's coming for you”
3. "Helena Beat"
Many songs have been penned about addiction and the toll it takes on both the user and their family, but Foster The People have hidden the topic slyly in one of their most vibrant tunes.
“I've tried to say that it's not the only way
I never knew if I could face myself to change
You were pacing, I was insecure
Slip and fall, I'm dodging calls, hug the prison I've been living in”
The disco-tinged, funky “Call It What You Want” is actually a snazzy tune about not fitting in and how hard that can make relationships. Some of Foster the People’s best work comes out here, as well as one of their most anthemic choruses.
“Yeah we're locked up in ideas
We like to label everything
Well I'm just gonna do here what I gotta do here
'Cause I gotta keep myself free
You're ducking and moving just to hide your bruising from all your enemies
And I'm in the crossfire dodging bullets from you expectancies”
1. "Coming of Age"
“Coming of Age,” from Foster The People’s second album Supermodel, was a deeply personal confession written by Mark Foster about what it was like to grow up and return home to see what his friends and family had been dealing with while he was on tour for their first record. Many young fans of Foster The People should be able to resonate
“And when my fear pulls me out to sea
And the stars are hidden by my pride and my enemies
I seem to hurt the people that I care the most
Just like an animal I protect my pride
When I'm too bruised to fight
And even when I'm wrong I tend to think I'm right”