Supermodel Succeeds with Lyrics


Foster the People performs their new single Best Friend from the album Supermodel at Coachella Music Festival.

Sarada Symonds, Editor-in-Chief

Foster the People’s sophomore album Supermodel, released on March 18, debuted a more mature sound. The band has discarded the synthetic beats and fanciful melodies that defined their previous album, choosing to focus more on lyrics.

According to lead singer Mark Foster in an interview with Billboard, the album was, in part, a reaction to the success the band’s had since releasing chart topping single “Pumped Up Kicks” three years ago, launching the band from obscurity to a household name. Foster states that the record takes on an “angry” tone as it reflects on capitalist greed.

Foster hoped to lean away from the catchy melodies than dominated Torches so that the focus would shift to his lyrics. He cites David Bowie, The Clash, and West Africa as influences for the album, according to Billboard.

While you can certainly hear the shift from the more pop sounding Torches, many songs are still reminiscent of their first album, blending catchy melodies and intense lyrics. My personal favorite track, “Best Friend,” is the most similar to their earlier songs, and, like “Pumped Up Kicks,” meaning is sacrificed for feel.

Several songs on the album, such as “Goats in Trees” and “Fire Escape,” take on an acoustic sound, forcing listeners to pay attention to the lyrics while a guitar strums in the background. After listening to “Fire Escape,” I realize that the band has evolved from synthetic beats and catchy melodies to more mature, contemplative music.

It’s difficult not to compare the new album to Torches. After all, I remember being a Sophomore and falling in love with tracks such “Waste,” “Helena Beat,” and “Houdini,”so it was hard not to be initially disappointed by the harsh, jarring sound of Supermodel. However, I found that, the more I listened, the more I came to appreciate the songs, each with their own distinct sound.

The band’s new album is worth listening to. While it certainly has a different feel than Torches, Supermodel’s sound is addicting it it’s own way.