Top 20 Songs for June 18-24, 2017

1. FEEL IT STILL – Portugal. The Man (1)
2. BELIEVER – Imagine Dragons (3)
3. HIGH – Sir Sly (4)
4. WOLVES – Wide Eyed Boy (2)
5. DOING IT FOR THE MONEY – Foster the People (6)
6. THE SYSTEM ONLY DREAMS IN TOTAL DARKNESS – The National (10)
7. DON’T TAKE THE MONEY – Bleachers (8)
8. CAN I SIT NEXT TO YOU – Spoon (17)
9. REVEREND – Kings of Leon (9)
10. SIGN OF THE TIMES – Harry Styles (5)
11. FEELS LIKE SUMMER – Weezer (12)
12. IN COLD BLOOD – alt-J (13)
13. GIVE ME REASON TO DIE – Dyslexic Postcards (14)
14. J-BOY – Phoenix (16)
15. LOVE IS MYSTICAL – Cold War Kids (7)
16. DIG DOWN – Muse (19)
17. BLAME – Bastille (11)
18. SILENT SUN – Morning Fuzz (20)
19. REDBONE – Childish Gambino (N)
20. THE VIOLENCE – Rise Against (18)

Top 20 Songs for June 11-17, 2017

1. FEEL IT STILL – Portugal. The Man (3)
2. WOLVES – Wide Eyed Boy (1)
3. BELIEVER – Imagine Dragons (4)
4. HIGH – Sir Sly (6)
5. SIGN OF THE TIMES – Harry Styles (2)
6. DOING IT FOR THE MONEY – Foster the People (9)
7. LOVE IS MYSTICAL – Cold War Kids (5)
8. DON’T TAKE THE MONEY – Bleachers (10)
9. REVEREND – Kings of Leon (11)
10. THE SYSTEM ONLY DREAMS IN TOTAL DARKNESS – The National (19)
11. BLAME – Bastille (7)
12. FEELS LIKE SUMMER – Weezer (14)
13. IN COLD BLOOD – alt-J (15)
14. GIVE ME REASON TO DIE – Dyslexic Postcards (16)
15. SOMETHING JUST LIKE THIS – The Chainsmokers, Coldplay (8)
16. J-BOY – Phoenix (N)
17. CAN I SIT NEXT TO YOU – Spoon (N)
18. THE VIOLENCE – Rise Against (17)
19. DIG DOWN – Muse (20)
20. SILENT SUN – Morning Fuzz (N)

Top 20 Songs for June 4-10, 2017

1. WOLVES – Wide Eyed Boy (1)
2. SIGN OF THE TIMES – Harry Styles (2)
3. FEEL IT STILL – Portugal. The Man (3)
4. BELIEVER – Imagine Dragons (4)
5. LOVE IS MYSTICAL – Cold War Kids (5)
6. HIGH – Sir Sly (7)
7. BLAME – Bastille (6)
8. SOMETHING JUST LIKE THIS – The Chainsmokers, Coldplay (8)
9. DOING IT FOR THE MONEY – Foster the People (11)
10. DON’T TAKE THE MONEY – Bleachers (12)
11. REVEREND – Kings of Leon (14)
12. HOT THOUGHTS – Spoon (9)
13. COLD COLD COLD – Cage the Elephant (10)
14. FEELS LIKE SUMMER – Weezer (15)
15. IN COLD BLOOD – alt-J (18)
16. GIVE ME REASON TO DIE – Dyslexic Postcards (19)
17. THE VIOLENCE – Rise Against (20)
18. MIDDLE FINGERS – MISSIO (13)
19. THE SYSTEM ONLY DREAMS IN TOTAL DARKNESS – The National (N)
20. DIG DOWN – Muse (N)

Top 20 Songs for May 28-June 3, 2017

1. WOLVES – Wide Eyed Boy (2)
2. SIGN OF THE TIMES – Harry Styles (1)
3. FEEL IT STILL – Portugal. The Man (4)
4. BELIEVER – Imagine Dragons (3)
5. LOVE IS MYSTICAL – Cold War Kids (5)
6. BLAME – Bastille (7)
7. HIGH – Sir Sly (10)
8. SOMETHING JUST LIKE THIS – The Chainsmokers, Coldplay (9)
9. HOT THOUGHTS – Spoon (6)
10. COLD COLD COLD – Cage the Elephant (8)
11. DOING IT FOR THE MONEY – Foster the People (14)
12. DON’T TAKE THE MONEY – Bleachers (15)
13. MIDDLE FINGERS – MISSIO (11)
14. REVEREND – Kings of Leon (16)
15. FEELS LIKE SUMMER – Weezer (17)
16. LOST ON YOU – LP (12)
17. GREEN LIGHT – Lorde (13)
18. IN COLD BLOOD – alt-J (19)
19. GIVE ME REASON TO DIE – Dyslexic Postcards (20)
20. THE VIOLENCE – Rise Against (N)

Top 20 Songs for May 21-27, 2017

1. SIGN OF THE TIMES – Harry Styles (1)
2. WOLVES – Wide Eyed Boy (4)
3. BELIEVER – Imagine Dragons (5)
4. FEEL IT STILL – Portugal.The Man (8)
5. LOVE IS MYSTICAL – Cold War Kids (3)
6. HOT THOUGHTS – Spoon (2)
7. BLAME – Bastille (6)
8. COLD COLD COLD – Cage the Elephant (7)
9. SOMETHING JUST LIKE THIS – The Chainsmokers, Coldplay (10)
10. HIGH – Sir Sly (13)
11. MIDDLE FINGERS – MISSIO (12)
12. LOST ON YOU – LP (9)
13. GREEN LIGHT – Lorde (11)
14. DOING IT FOR THE MONEY – Foster the People (16)
15. DON’T TAKE THE MONEY – Bleachers (17)
16. REVEREND – Kings of Leon (N)
17. FEELS LIKE SUMMER – Weezer (N)
18. ON HOLD – The xx (14)
19. IN COLD BLOOD – alt-J (N)
20. GIVE ME REASON TO DIE – Dyslexic Postcards (N)

Top 20 Songs for May 14-20, 2017

Foster the People are back with a new song “Doing it for the Money” (meaning four of my favorite bands are represented on this list – Foster the People, Cage the Elephant, Coldplay and twenty øne piløts). Bleachers debut with another money song “Don’t Take the Money.” Harry Styles is #1 for a second week, Portugal.The Man’s “Feel it Still” leaps to #8, and Sir Sly’s “High” debuts at #13.

1. SIGN OF THE TIMES – Harry Styles (1)
2. HOT THOUGHTS – Spoon (2)
3. LOVE IS MYSTICAL – Cold War Kids (3)
4. WOLVES – Wide Eyed Boy (4)
5. BELIEVER – Imagine Dragons (5)
6. BLAME – Bastille (7)
7. COLD COLD COLD – Cage the Elephant (8)
8. FEEL IT STILL – Portugal. The Man (15)
9. LOST ON YOU – LP (6)
10. SOMETHING JUST LIKE THIS – The Chainsmokers, Coldplay (12)
11. GREEN LIGHT – Lorde (9)
12. MIDDLE FINGERS – MISSIO (13)
13. HIGH – Sir Sly (N)
14. ON HOLD – The xx (10)
15. LOVE ON THE BRAIN – Rihanna (11)
16. DOING IT FOR THE MONEY – Foster the People (N)
17. DON’T TAKE THE MONEY – Bleachers (N)
18. HUMAN – Rag’n’Bone Man (17)
19. HEAVYDIRTYSOUL – twenty øne piløts (14)
20. HOW DID YOU LOVE – Shinedown (16)

EP Review: FOSTER THE PEOPLE – “III”

Foster the People are one of my favorite bands (see header photo at the top of my blog and Twitter pages that I took at their L.A. concert in November 2014), and I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of new music from them. It’s been three years since their last album Supermodel, and now they’re back with a fantastic three-song EP called III. It dropped on April 27, as a preview of their upcoming album planned for release this summer. Their new sound is a slight departure from Torches and Supermodel, with the introduction of hip-hop influences, though their complex melodies and generous use of synths are still well represented.

III is the group’s first recording after the departure of original bassist Cubbie Fink in 2016, and Isom Innis and Sean Cimino – who’ve toured and played back-up for Foster the People for several years – are now attributed as official members of the band. The current line-up is front man Mark Foster (lead vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards, synthesizers), Mark Pontius (drums, percussion, backing vocals), Isom Innis (piano, keyboards, percussion, backing vocals) and Sean Cimino (guitar, piano, keyboards, backing vocals).

Foster the People

Regarding their new songs, Mark Foster noted “One of my favorite things about music is that it’s unifying. We wrote these songs to reflect joy in a time where people have needed it more than ever, and we thought it was a good time to share them with you.” Well, I can say unequivocally that hearing new music from Foster the People makes me very happy. I love every song they’ve ever recorded, and these new ones are no exception.

The first track “Pay the Man” features a dub step beat and Foster’s rapping, backed by a mix of otherworldly synths and pixie-ish voices. These verses are interspersed with melodic, sweeping choruses more in keeping with the band’s signature sound. As with many of their songs, there’s an abundance of intricate synths, underlain by strong bass and percussion. Foster sings: “Say what you love, it’s alright. Don’t be afraid to find your light. Embrace the day, like night. We hear the fire, we all go wild again. And you have the name of someone I love.”

Doing It for the Money” features a bass-heavy hip hop beat and crisp synths. I love Foster’s vocals, which include a bit of rapping, and rise to his signature falsetto during the chorus: “So close your eyes, we’re gonna run this light. We live our lives, yeah, we’re not wasting time. Baby, we lost our minds.  We’re gonna get, gonna get, get what we can. We’re not doing it for the money.” To my ears, the track has a bit of a quirky Beck vibe.

My favorite of the three is “SHC” (short for Sacred Hearts Club), possibly because it reminds me of some of the songs on Torches, with exuberant, swirling synths and beautiful chiming guitars. Honestly, the instrumentals on this song are gorgeous, and Foster’s vocals are beguiling. The lyrics seem to address Foster’s relationship with a loved one as well as God: “I’ve been numbing my thoughts for hours. I know you wanted to save me from myself. We’ve been wilting and young for seeds, and I can’t compete until I’m strung to the field. What’s real?

Needless to say, I’m really looking forward to the release of the full album this summer, In the meantime, I’ll have to enjoy these tracks. To stay up to date with Foster the People, check out their website.
Follow them:  Facebook /  Twitter /  Instagram
Stream their music:  Spotify /  Apple Music /  Google Play /  YouTube
Purchase:  iTunes /  Amazon