If you’re a Foster the People fan, you’re probably counting down the days till July 21st, when Sacred Hearts Club, the band’s third album, will be released. So far, Foster the People hasn’t posted any official music videos starring its new lineup, comprised of Mark Foster (vocals, guitar, keys), Mark Pontius (percussion), Sean Cimino (guitar, keys), and Isom Innis (keys, percussion). Its past videos are still a blast to watch, though. To pass the time, why don’t we rank them now?
8. Pumped Up Kicks
The “Pumped Up Kicks” video is just a bunch of aesthetically pleasing footage of the band playing music and hanging out. It’s got a gorgeous color palette, and in retrospect, it serves as an endearing glimpse of Foster the People’s early days. If you’re looking for any allusions to the song’s story, though, you won’t find them here.
7. Coming of Age
The “Coming of Age” music video stars modern teens, but in a way, it seems like a throwback to the adolescent dramedies of the 20th century. In keeping with the song’s title, it features many shots that look like they’re straight out of a John Hughes film, showing everything from a young couple slow dancing to a boy sitting forlornly in a mascot suit. Dissolve transitions and brightly colored shots of the band performing add to the video’s distinctive ‘80s vibe. The only reason it’s not higher on the list is that nothing can really beat Foster the People’s more out-of-the-box and plot-driven videos.
6. Pseudologia Fantastica
The “Pseudologia Fantastica” video takes viewers into an animated world of fantastical creatures. In this universe, fuchsia-colored birds soar through pastel skies, literal wolves seek political power, and blue men mine the ground for gems, their axes pounding out the beat. With everything from psychedelic landscapes to epic battle scenes, the video’s sure to remind you that cartoons can be exceedingly cool when done right.
5. Don’t Stop (Color on the Walls)
Like the song it was made for, this video is Pure Fun. Mark Foster’s a thief wearing a fake mustache… And Gabourey Sidibe just wants to take her driving test, but she’s caught up in the chaos of his scheme… And Mark Pontius and Cubbie Fink are a bumbling duo of cops… And a car crashes into brightly colored cans of paint… And then there’s a wild police chase. The Foster the People guys can be serious and insightful when they want to be, but they can also be lighthearted and silly, and this video is proof of that.
4. Call It What You Want
Is there a plot to this video? Not really, but it recognizes that fact and commits to it, which is why it’s so amazing. Who needs a plot when you have faces made out of breakfast food? Who needs a plot when you have Cubbie Fink wearing one of those flashlight headbands? Who needs a plot when you have Mark Pontius playing the drums in a fancy bathtub (while fully clothed)? Who needs a plot when you have Mark Foster singing with his head in a fishbowl… and punching himself in the face… and sitting on the floor with a blanket over his head among an absurd number of lamps?
3. Helena Beat
Where do we start with this one? First, there’s a sequence of footage symbolizing disaster—wars, explosions, hurricanes, the like. Then Mark Foster appears as a beaten-down, but affable-seeming dude with stuffed animals tied to his car, a dog in his passenger seat, and a gas mask within reach. When he gets out of the car to look inside a stroller that’s sitting in the middle of the highway, some ominous-looking child soldiers in masks emerge, and things take a dark sci-fi turn. This is like candy for fans who love symbolism—and film buffs who are suckers for beautiful shots.
2. Best Friend
The “Best Friend” video is a social commentary with a twist that only a band like Foster the People could provide. It starts out like a simple cautionary tale about an insecure fashion model. Then colored filters and special effects hint that something wild is about to happen. Sure enough, it does: the model eats another woman to gain her beauty. From this point on, the viewer knows what the plot of the video is going to be, but it only gets weirder… and, in its own surreal way, cooler. The best moments are an out-of-this-world animated sequence and a visually stunning nod to the Supermodel album cover.
From the very start of the song, when a lighting rig falls on the band as it’s performing, it’s clear that this is not some simple, eventless music video. It’s more like a mini-movie influenced by Weekend at Bernie’s, in which Mark Foster, Cubbie Fink, and Mark Pontius are turned into cyborgs by their management so that they can perform without complications. The operation succeeds, and at first, all seems well. The band performs a jaunty dance routine, they change into white clothes like some kind of alternative version of the Backstreet Boys, and there are lens flares galore. At the end of the video, though, there’s something somber about the musicians’ inanimate bodies lying on a couch at a crowded party. Foster the People has a gift for pairing joyous melodies with thought-provoking content, and in “Houdini” and its video, the band definitely accomplishes that.