Pumped Up Kicks (2010) - Foster The People - All about the song ...

"You can listen to this song when you're sad, lying on the sofa..... Or you can switch it on and start dancing! Each person sees something in it that is closer to him: either it is cheerful music or a subtext...".

"Pumped Up Kicks." A song with a unique contrast of music and lyrics...

In autumn 2010, indie pop band Foster the People literally blew up the charts with their track "Pumped Up Kicks". Light and sticky melody, playful motif... At first glance the song seems kind and encouraging! But once you get acquainted with its content, you will immediately feel a strong contrast... Once you read its lyrics, you will never be able to perceive it as before.

Hey, kids in fancy trainers.
You better run! You'd better run, you'd better escape my gun!
Hey, kids in fancy sneakers--
Better run, better run, faster than my bullet!

  • The song actually refers to the tragic events at Columbine High School in 1999, the events of which were experienced by the cousin of that band's bassist, Cubby Fink...
  • In 2010, so did similar events at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, only there was a teacher (a woman), not students...

Presenting the song on Craig Ferguson's TV show in 2011-...

But first, we suggest you get to know the band!

Who are Foster The People?

Foster The People
Foster The People

Originally Foster The People was not a band, but a solo project of vocalist, guitarist and keyboardist Mark Foster. For a long time Mark made a living by coming up with jingles for various advertising companies. But one day he wanted something more substantial - real music! So, together with bassist Cubby Fink and drummer Mark Pontius, Foster The People became a full-fledged indie-pop project!

History and meaning

And now for the song. The author of the hit song is Foster himself. We should pay tribute to him: he managed to combine seemingly incompatible things flawlessly! A bright and optimistic melody and... a not so rosy text. As Mark said in an interview, in his song he decided to paint the thoughts of troubled youth in all colours and details:

"This song is about a mentally unstable, literally crazy teenager who is plotting revenge. I'm concerned that today's youth is becoming more and more isolated... It's kind of a very scary epidemic in my opinion... I didn't want to write about the victims, some tragedy... I decided to write about the killer, about his thoughts... I like to write about characters - that's my style. Sometimes I want to get into the minds of other people, to stand in their shoes...".

Foster also added that he didn't want to emphasise any violence with his song. The musician only wanted to talk about the inner dialogue of an outcast teenager:

"You can listen to this song when you are sad, lying on the sofa... Or you can switch it on and start dancing! Each person sees something in it that is closer to him: either it is cheerful music or a subtext...".

Output and achievements

Foster The People
Foster The People

Published on the Internet in 2010, the track attracted the attention of Foster's label Startime International, with which he was contracted to release several albums.

After its release, the track was very popular! It was not only frequently played on radio stations, it became the leader of the Alternative Songs chart. The song reached the third position on the Billboard Hot 100, where it spent 8 solid weeks!

Track cover
Track cover

Highly praised by critics, nominated for a Grammy Award - the amazingly beautiful yet frightening "Pumped Up Kicks" brought success to the band and became one of the most popular hits of 2011!

In 2017, the band Klingande released their version, which also proved to be very popular:

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