Thursday, November 6, 2014

Broken Bells & Foster the People

For NaBloPoMo, I thought I would update on what I've been listening to for the past year. I'm starting out with two bands that I really love, Broken Bells and Foster the People. They both came out with their sophomore albums - After the Disco and Supermodel, respectively.

After the Disco was recorded with the seventeen-piece Angel City String Orchestra from Australia and produced by Brian Burton aka Danger Mouse, who is half of Broken Bells with Shins lead singer, guitarist and all around creator James Mercer. It's definitely a great second effort, however it's kind of the same old thing. I wouldn't really expect anything else though, from a side project of two musicians who seem to have their input in a lot of different projects, or doing their own creative things most of the time. I think Broken Bells for Mercer and Burton is a way to work with this sound they've created and they don't have any intention of changing it. Their creativity for new sounds lie in different projects. Which is fine, to me. The sound they've created works! As long as it remains a side project, be the one trick pony that everyone loves! Although Mercer does seem to have a formula, that's for another blog post. Key tracks include: "Holding On for Life", "After the Disco" and "No Matter What You're Told".

Oh yeah, also check out the single of "Holding On For Life"  I got for Record Store Day this year:



Now on to my favorite of the two. Yes, I still like Foster the People and yes, I still think they are soooo underrated. And yes, I just wrote "soooo" in my blog post. While doing research for this blog post, I've found out that this is supposed to be a concept album - news to me. Although I would say the concept is still pretty light on the plot. Apparently, it's suppose to be an album about the "ugly side of capitalism" and the negative outcomes of popular culture as well as the "consumer ideology" our society has adapted. This is all Mark Foster's words, by the way, in the Paste article I've linked. The band definitely pushed themselves with this record and I like that. When a band tries to do something different, but still keep their roots, that's the best outcome. Especially for a sophomore record. I think FTP definitely did that with Supermodel. It's got a lot more going on than Torches - way more instrument work - a lot more strings and horns, it's not as "here's another pop song that only has three chords" - it's got DEPTH. Damn, I love Foster the People. I'm so bummed that "Pumped Up Kicks" song really gave them a bad wrap. Key tracks include: "Coming of Age" (obviously), "Nevermind" "Psuedoligia Fantastica" and "A Beginner's Guide to Destroying the Moon"

Also found this while I was researching Supermodel, check out this mural that was constructed and painted in Los Angeles in honor of the release.

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