World Cafe

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The premier guide for new and significant artists in rock, blues, and folk - including NPR-syndicated World Cafe

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24/7 Musical discovery. A unique mix of emerging and heritage blues, rock, world, folk, and alt-country artists.

World Cafe Archives

Join the World Cafe through performances and interviews with celebrated and emerging artists.
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Foster The People - Foster The People - Columbia

Perhaps no new band is enjoying 2011 as much as Foster The People. The indie-rockers from Los Angeles are now on the fast track after teasing listeners earlier this year with one of the most irresistible songs in recent memory. Their debut album, Torches, sets out to prove that it has plenty more to offer in addition to “Pumped Up Kicks” and may be the perfect addition to your summer soundtrack.

Lead by frontman Mark Foster, Foster The People may be the west coast answer to fellow indie-pop/dance bands like MGMT or Passion Pit. Like so many California bands, Foster The People offer up a blend that not only sounds more sun-soaked and less frantic, but with a confident coolness. For a young band, FTP combine an ability to construct well-arranged songs with a composure that often times eludes new bands. And they’re clever. As catchy and as sunny a song as “Pumped Up Kicks” appears on the outside, Foster uses that to mask the song’s lyrical statement on gun violence.

You could probably sum up Torches with one word: fun. Actually, it’s a whole lot of fun. The band’s youthful exuberance definitely cuts through. Just as “Pumped Up Kicks” became an ear worm, so will the bouncy “Houdini” and album opener “Helena Beat.” But add to that clever songwriting and a knack for melody and Foster the People’s Torches is a must-listen this summer.

Buy Torches, XPN's Featured Album of the Week from Your purchase that starts here, benefits WXPN.