The Austin Chronicle

SXSW 2014 Records

Reviewed by Melanie Haupt, March 14, 2014, Music

Foster the People

Supermodel (Columbia)

Foster the People's debut, Torches, heated up summer 2011 with sinister sunniness on "Pumped Up Kicks," followed by the cheery aggression of "Don't Stop (Color on the Walls)," commercial tunes masking darker themes. The Los Angeles trio's sophomore Supermodel again finds frontman Mark Foster assuming the role of charismatic young anarchist casting about for someone to share his disaffection. Opener "Are You What You Want to Be?" wrestles with whether to "[say] too much and [end] a martyr" or "to face God and say I was a coward," as backed by high-voltage, vaguely South American beats. Beach single "Coming of Age" reflects on what it means to act like a grownup, while "Best Friend" drags its hot-mess buddies to the disco. Working on an epic, operatic canvas, Foster and his bandmates hide the spinach of existential angst into sweetly binge-worthy dance pop. (8pm, Butler Park Stage at Lady Bird Lake)


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