An estimated 92% of us experience earworms. Despite the annoying times we can’t get a chorus or a hook of an overplayed pop song out of our heads, getting a really good earworm stuck can be one of the best things, ever. We here at Nerdist are dead set on bringing you those types of songs—even if only for the weekend. So shove this into your grey matter!
With most of my earworm columns, there’s not much rhyme or reason to what I choose. Instead, I leave it up to whatever happens to hook me during the week and since reviving an old iPod there have been some things back in rotation. Most recently, Foster The People.
There’s likely a fair share of debate going on in the comments both for and against a band like Foster The People. Their Grammy nominated “Pumped Up Kicks” was stuck in everyone’s head so badly at some point that I can understand how it can cause a varying amount of love or disdain. I promise that this week’s earworm is not “Pumped Up Kicks” but rather the album where that tune lives. For article length’s sake, let’s focus on two songs in particular.
After the success of the song that must not be named, Foster The People have seen quite a few of singles reach some stellar heights on various charts. The band’s third single, “Houdini,” saw some major success and, in my opinion, is more indicative of the band’s sound. High energy and far more electronic in nature, this and the rest of 2011’s Torches is an absolute delight to listen to. The video for “Houdini” is as much fun as it is weird, and in a way, also an indictment of the music industry. Pretty bold move to make a video in which the band dying doesn’t get in the way of the record company putting on a show and partying afterwards with their corpses tossed aside.
“Call It What You Want”
Beyond being yet another great track off the same album, “Call It What You Want” was produced by legendary music producer Paul Epworth whose credits are simply astonishing. Like many of the band’s songs, this features an earwormy hook beyond just the lyrics. What might make this one so catchy is that the underlying piano throughout seems so very close to the hook of The Four Seasons’ “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night).”
If I’m being honest, I suppose I do skip over “Pumped Up Kicks” from time to time when listening to this album. Though, Torches is so darn consistently listenable from beginning to end that I can’t help but blame my occasional skipping of that song is simply due to over-saturation.
If you own Torches, I implore you to dust it off and get it back into rotation. If you’re new to it, you can buy it here. And if you made it through this article despite disliking Foster The People, I thank you for your time and let’s discuss what you think I should be listening to instead in the comments below!
Blake Rodgers writes for Nerdist from Chicago, IL where he lives happily with his Guinness World Record for High Fives. You can be his pal by following him on Twitter (@TheBlakeRodgers).