Album Review: Foster The People – Sacred Hearts Club

By Will Sexton (@willshesleeps)

In the midst of summer, the 3rd album in Foster The People’s discography has arrived and it’s a switch up on the usual indie rock/synth-pop style they have so well blended themselves into. Sacred Hearts Club sees the return of a band obviously not worried about what people would say if they changed up their style, but even from their debut album Torches, you could tell that the band were fluid and liked experimenting with different textures to their music. There was a short documentary online before the album was released that revealed the album with feature ’60’s sounds and a psychedelic influence’ which pushed the hype to a new level.

Experimentation is a term that you would use to describe this new record also. The lead singles from the album coming in the form of the E.P. III, it was a spacey, low-key political piece of work which was enjoyed a lot on release, but it just shows you how they can change so much and come at their music from a different perspective and still impress. Songs like SHC are keeping close to the sound we all grew to love but the changes come with the songs like Pay The Man and especially the heavily trap/dance influenced Loyal Like Sid & Nancy, which was a shock to the system at first.

With all these new styles and influences it’s hard to decide whether this album is cohesive. ‘Start to finish’ aesthetics is something music has always stuck to, where you’d pick one style you like and write an album based upon it. Foster The People break that trend (along with a few other artists recently) and start to follow their own heads and make music for themselves, not what they think people will flock too which is appreciated a lot. The middle of the album is a brilliant example of this.

The interlude song Orange Dream starts with feedback and wakes the listener up and continues to be alive with its harsh drum beat and off-key sounds until you’re hit with a bass line and synth that sounds like it was influenced from Tame Impala. This song leads into another few songs that follow a different kind of indie-rock, blended with a synth-pop aesthetic. The song Static Space Lovers (feat. vocals from Jena Malone), which is written about being in a relationship with someone that isn’t really going anywhere which features synth and dreamy chords, and the song Lotus Eater which has one of the best riffs on the album as the chorus and possibly my favourite song on the record and STILL being different everything to they’ve ever written, which show how still slides into the next interlude so effortlessly even though Time To Get Closer is a slow jam with a gorgeous bass line.

The last two songs really round this album off well. Harden The Paint still shows the ever-changing genre of this album, featuring some new techniques and effects with the samples and the way those samples are cut, which is something Sacred Hearts Club does pride itself on. The last song III is an ethereal song that again features brilliant sampling and it feels so rich with its gorgeous instrumentation and choice of chords. It’s heartfelt nature and it being the last song on the album really gives you the closure you’re looking for from the experience that is Sacred Hearts Club.

The fluidity is still appealing. It’s still going strong and Foster The People have shown that they can still write amazing music. It’s an album that fans have been looking forward to for a long time, and if you have been a long time fan it might take a little time to get used to it, but it’s worth getting used too.