Shuffle Up and Deal

Foster The People — Don’t Stop (Color on the Walls)

Foster the People are just a fun band and I’m not entirely sure why we haven’t caught them live yet. I did catch an interview/live performance with them on Palladia a while back which is really cool. Check it out if you can.

I initially thought that Foster the People were a one hit wonder with Pumped up Kicks because it seemed like a novelty song. Fortunately, I heard a couple of their other songs and I got hooked. I think there can never be enough bands that make you happy and make you boogie a bit. FTP definitely hits both marks for me. They put out some good videos, too. The one for Houdini is especially good, in my not humble at all opinion.

FTP is interesting to me because Mark Foster takes a sort of scientific approach to songwriting. Prior to FTP, he wrote jingles for commercials and such so that was his entry to understanding how music resonates with its intended audience. Some other songwriters take this approach. Rivers Cuomo from Weezer still believes that there is a mathematical formula to the perfect pop song and he has dedicated himself to cataloging and analyzing the great songs throughout history. I appreciate the approach these guys take and I can’t argue with the results.

Don’t Stop is novel because it is written in the perspective of a three or four-year old kid. Some lyrics:

Sleigh ride boat ride piggy back-a ride
I’m going to show them all how I can ride
One two three close your eyes and count to four
I’m gonna (I’d like) to hide behind my bedroom door
Crayons on walls
I’ll color on them all
I’ll draw until I’ve broken every law

After reading up a bit on FTP, I have a theory about this song. Mark Foster lists Blur as one of his influences. I think that Don’t Stop is FTP’s homage to the Blur song Coffee and TV. It’s one of my favorite Blur songs (I tend to like the ones where Graham Coxon sings instead of Damon Albarn). Both songs have a simple rhythm guitar strumming as their backbones and the same tempo. Then the songs juxtapose the rhythm section with some angry guitar sounds (in Coffee and TV) and modulated synth and some angry guitar (in Don’t Stop). The structure of the songs is very similar. Dontcha think?

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