Its been almost three years since Pumped Up Kicks became an unlikely breakout single for Foster the People. Still, the song launched the band into the mainstream with their unique brand of catchy yet quirky indie rock. With the band’s second album finally about to be released, the band has given the first glimpse of their sophomore effort.
Coming of Age serves as the album’s highly anticipated lead single. However, this song really doesn’t represent any sort of coming of age musically. The song is distinctly “Foster,” and keeps the band’s unique sound firmly intact. There really aren’t any risks on this single; no bold new directions, and no unexpected turns. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Why fix what isn’t broken?
The new song fits right in alongside the group’s previous songs, borrowing elements from the past songs such as Helena Beat, Warrant, and especially Miss You. There’s something familiar about its simple, bass driven melody, and distorted yet colorful synths. However, the dance elements have been toned down in favor of a more guitar driven sound. Its a simple structure that gives the song a wide draw, attracting new listeners while pleasing old fans.
The chorus is super catchy, yet understated. Mark Foster’s surf-rock inspired vocals easily hit their mark, and leave a lasting impression. Showing a knack for penning quirky but meaningful lyrics, Coming of Age is about experiencing a moment of clarity, inspired by “waking up and realizing that you’re someplace you didn’t know you were.” It shows a bit more of a personal touch than the highschool shoot out that was talked about in Pumped Up Kicks.
Coming of Age is definitely a solid listen, even if a bit familiar. It may not be the band’s best song to date, but it still pleases with their unique brand of indie pop-rock. With their eclectic style, it will be interesting to see what the band’s sophomore album has in store.
Final Score: 3/5