Top 10 Foster the People Songs

Foster the People Songs

Photo: Jason Persse, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Our top 10 Foster The People songs list looks back at the great rock and roll pop songs from a band formed in the late 2000s in L.A. It has been more than a decade since Foster the People released their debut track, “Pumped Up Kicks,” which created significant buzz in the pop music scene as well as getting a lot of airplay on KROQ. The track also went on to be featured as a soundtrack on popular TV shows such as Homeland and Gossip Girl, as well as a host of other commercials. The group was clearly inspired by The Beach Boys although they definitely have a more modern sound that tilts in the Maroon 5 direction.

When Mark Foster founded Foster the People, he had initially thought of it as a solo project. However, he completed the lineup with the addition of his longtime buddy Cubbie Fink who was on the bass, and Mark Pontius, who became the drummer. Over the years, the band has released three albums and has been nominated for various accolades, including the Grammy Awards and the UK Video Music Awards. If you want to listen to a band that has mastered the art of pop songs, you have to listen to Foster the People. Here are the ten of the best Foster the People songs ranked.

10. Doing It for the Money

By the time Foster the People were releasing the album Sacred Hearts Club, they seemed to have gone a little more mainstream, so yes, it’s safe to say that they were doing it for the money. This track has a satirical tone in it since their sound changed, just like most pop artists did. The track is catchy, and the message is brilliant.

9. I Would Do Anything for You

“I Would Do Anything for You” is the sixth track off Foster the People’s 2011 debut studio album, Torch. The love ballad was a dedication to Foster’s lover to whom he had entrusted his emotions and life with. The track features some beautiful lyrics, and it outlines Foster’s real feelings for his lover with a different style from other songs in the album.

8. The Truth

This song details a conversation between Mark Foster and his God, who he refers to as “The Truth.” In the song, Mark Foster acknowledges that you cannot rely on people for your needs since they lack direction and are often confusing, but God has all the answers. The song could also be interpreted to point out how the mainstream media controls the information they feed us to suit their narratives rather than tell us the truth. “The Truth” is the tenth track from the band’s 2014 album, Supermodel.

7. Call It What You Want

“Call It What You Want” is the third song from the band’s debut album, Torches. In the song, Mark Foster criticizes the mainstream music culture describing it as judgemental, before pointing out that his music will always remain the same no matter how it is labeled as. The track took 14th position on the Triple J Hottest 100 poll and is a soundtrack for the EA Sports game FIFA12.

6. Don’t Stop

Most Foster the People diehards will argue that this track should have featured higher on the list primarily due to how catchy it is. The track has been featured in several TV ads, most notably for the Nissan Versa. It is also featured in the videogame Forza Horizon and in the trailer for the movie “Turbo.” The track uses a childhood theme to make comparisons in his relationships with a girl.

5. Helena Beat

You will struggle to find songs written about heroin and with a catchy chorus than this track. “Helena Beat” is the second single from the 2011 album, Torches, and it is a good feeling song with a great intro that is accompanied by great lines such as, “I took a sip of something poison, Took a sip of something poison, poison.” The track was ranked position 15 on the Triple J Hottest 100 poll and was the most played track on Triple J Radio Station in Australia.

4. Houdini

Coming in at number four is the famous soundtrack for episode 88 of the hit series Gossip Girl and the soundtrack for the 2012 snowboarding game, SSX. Mark Foster wrote this song while he was working as a jingle writer for Mophonics. In the song, he describes his fears of rejection and a dilemma of whether to experiment with different styles in his music or just stick to what his fans love him for.

3. Coming of Age

This song features some simple yet reflective lyrics with Mark Foster questioning society’s values as he “comes of age.” In his context, the coming of age is not about how old he has grown but rather the lessons he has learnt from his past mistakes in relationships and life in general and a realization that he now needs to become a man. “Coming of Age” is the lead single from the band’s 2014 album, Supermodel. The song peaked at position 41 on the Billboard US Hot Rock Songs and position 2 on the Billboard US Adult Alternative Songs.

2. Waste

“Waste” is another emotional classic love song from Foster the People. The song features a great beat and an incredible chorus to go with. This catchy song details the struggles of a guy who has a mentally deficient girlfriend but always shows lots of sacrifice and love to her despite her condition. Going by the title of the song, you would never think that “Waste: could be the title of a love song.

1. Pumped Up Kicks

More than a decade after its release, we can comfortably say that “Pumped Up Kicks” is Foster the People’s greatest song ever. The song was the ultimate breakthrough for the band, which turned Mark Foster’s fortunes from a jingle writer based in Los Angeles to one of the most promising rock artists. “Pumped Up Kicks” was the band’s debut single which was later added to their 2011 album, Torches. The song details the thoughts of a youth who has given up on life. In the song, mark Foster brings about several themes, including gun violence and mental illness. The track became an instant hit on radio, with many critics praising it. It was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category for Best Pop Duo /Group Performance, and it remains Foster the People’s biggest hit to date.

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However, I was at the right place at the right time for this one. Steve Ostromogilsky had a Berklee College of Music lunch card and used to sneak out sandwiches for me. One day, he invited me to hang out at his place and listen to music. As we got off the train, he put Sony Walkman headphones on my ears and said, "Hey, check out this brand-new group." A song like "It's So Easy" was so different from the popular Sunset Strip sound at that time. Me and about 499 other informed rockers were lucky enough to see them on their first East Coast tour at the sold-out Paradise on Commonwealth Avenue, Boston (the same street Aerosmith started on). I saw Gn'R every tour after until I took a break when Buckethead joined. Gn'R is the band I've been lucky enough to see the most times live, almost 100! Everyone on this album is just stellar. Axl [Rose] had the tones, power, melodic sensibilities, and foresight to do what no other singer did then. Slash's playing was beyond memorable. 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