Spotlight: Foster the People
“There are so many good bands out there that try to put on a front and make their music super esoteric—and it’s not communal,” Foster continues. “A lot of bands are creating a culture that only lets people in that they approve of. But we went into it with a different attitude: ‘Let’s make good music that we enjoy.’ We’re not trying to be a super exclusive indie band.”
He originally named his group “Foster and the People” but when someone mistook this for “Foster the People” after a show they performed for charity, the name stuck—Foster thought the new moniker helped drive home his greater mission of playing music while also helping others.
“I like to observe the people around me,” the Cleveland native says. “I tend to be drawn to outsiders—the hustlers—people that are struggling. There’s something compelling and human about adversarial relationships. I like to find the humanity in someone that is polar opposite of myself and then make them completely relatable.”
While The Beach Boys, New Order and The Clash were huge influences, Foster laughingly says that the band is best described as if “Brian Wilson and Aphex Twin got together and had a man baby who he grew up listening to Motown and heard a drum machine along the way.”
In concert, Foster delivers his high-energy show just as he said he would—displaying his love for the synthesizer and his multi-instrumentalist skills as he deftly moves from keys to percussion to lead vocals, sometimes with the help of autotune and other various effects, and adding some hand motions and dance steps as well.
“Mark recently reached out to me to start writing for the next Foster the People record,” Heiligman says. “The guys have been busy touring but luckily technology allows for Mark and I to work on tracks even when he’s halfway around the world. Mark is great with melody and it’s always exciting to me; I enjoy his musical sensibilities.”
Foster mentions his proclivity for hip-hop music, noting that you can hear undertones of it on Torches, especially on “Life on the Nickel.” “I’d love it if Lupe [Fiasco] or [Kid] Cudi got on that track,” he says, optimistically adding, “We’ll see.”
Dame shares a song from her new EP Preventions of Heartbreak.
Golden Bloom stopped by Relix to perform a tune from their latest EP No Day Like Today.
The Chapin Sisters share an tune from their new album A Date With the Everly Brothers.
Minneapolis-based Night Moves share a song from their record, Colored Emotions, live at Relix.
Cloud Cult share a song from their latest album live at Relix.
The Giving Tree Band enjoy a spring day on the Relix rooftop, while performing a classic Grateful Dead tune.
Canadian singer-songwriter Hayden performs a duet with his sister-in-law Lou Canon. The song appears on Us Alone his first record on Broken Social Scene’s Arts & Crafts Productions.
The Milk Carton Kids share the first song from their new album, The Ash & Clay.
Here is the new video from Serbian guitar ace Ana Popovic. “Object Of Obsession” appears on her latest album Can You Stand The Heat.
Ron Sexsmith visits the Relix office to perform a tune from his latest record Forever Endeavor.
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