As different digital platforms fight the crowd to make themselves known, we find ourselves with an ever expanding variety of ways to find and listen to music. We buy singles rather than albums and it’s instantly delivered to our device of choice. Hey, we can even get our phones to listen to a track that we hear whilst out-and-about and not only will it tell us what it is from a couple of beats, we can even buy and download the track that instant.

The convenience is astounding but I see a small drawback to all of this. I don’t think we’re giving music a chance. What I mean by that is in the old days, you either risked a punt on an album or you went to a record store to listen to recommendations. You sometimes had to give the music a chance to grow on you. There have been many albums that I’ve listened to over the years that I didn’t like at first but they have grown to be favourites of mine.

With so much on offer, the problem is compounded and the importance for a band to make an immediate impression is probably greater than any other marketing tool that they may have at their disposal.

Torches by Foster the People
Torches by Foster the People

Today I would like to introduce you to a new band from LA called Foster the People – and their debut album “Torches” makes an immediate impression.

If I were to compare this lot to anyone, I would say the sound quite like Empire of the Sun. But whereas Empire of the Sun have about half a dozen good tracks on their debut album “Walking on a Dream”, it quickly loses it’s way and turns into a mad experiment that ultimately ruins the experience.

With Torches, they manage to maintain their focus and build on their sound producing a catchy, harmonic and addictive sound. Each track has its own particular detail and complexity, and clever hooks manage to keep you engaged the whole way through.

As with Empire of the Sun, expect lots of electro sounds and weird textures but there is also a nice mix of keyboards and drums. The vocals are a little unusual but they work well and the backing has been carefully used where needed.

The band has only been together since October 2009 and considering the relatively short time frame together the results are spectacular.

Having a shortage of time lately, I have been particularly fickle with my music choices but this album has managed to grab my attention and stand up and make a big impression.

This is a definite recommendation and I look forward to finding more like them, willing to try to define their own sound and create something different and engaging.

3 Gs


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