It was on your radio all of the time. Your mom danced to it in public places. Foster The People‘s “Pumped Up Kicks” was, for better or worse, inescapable last summer. We saw countless covers of the all-too-catchy-tune here at Cover Me last summer and some even creeped into fall of 2011. Just when you thought you had moved on to the next summer jam (still waiting for hundreds of “Call Me Maybe” covers) Usher decided to play what can only be deemed a karaoke version of “Pumped Up Kicks.”
Yesterday we heard Florence and the Machine cover Drake in the Live Lounge and now Foster the People take their shot in the Radio 1 studio. The trio played “Pumped Up Kicks” (duh) and a new cover of the Strokes’ new song “Machu Picchu.” It’s the breakout stars of 2011 paying tribute to the godfathers of the modern “buzz band” concept.
Almost as common as ghost, witch and vampire costumes on Halloween is the covers concert. Many bands will forgo their latest release or greatest hits and instead pop on a costume and break out the cover songs. Over the years bands like Phish and The Flaming Lips have become known for their Halloween concert festivities and cover sets of full albums or songs from a decade; this year we take a look at some of the other artists getting their spooky fun on.
It is a wonder bands are still covering Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks,” not only because so many others have done it – heck, we saw three in September alone – but because of the lyrical content of the lyrics. The original does a good job of hiding the dark school-shooting scenario of lyrics behind what might be the catchiest and most (seemingly) upbeat song of 2011. Miracles of Modern Science keep with this poppy trend somewhat with their recently released cover, but in an entirely different manner.
As we’ve mentioned, Vermont locals Chamberlin have been working on an EP of stripped-down covers, involving their fans in the process by holding a contest to choose the tracklist and releasing their versions of Passion Pit’s “Little Secrets” and Kanye West’s “Lost in The World” ahead of time. They’ve just released the finished product for purchase, rounding off the 5-song set with their takes on “Go Outside” by Cults, “Giving Up The Gun” by Vampire Weekend, and “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People. Named the Cabin Covers EP after the rural home where they recorded it, the record has taken on a humanitarian role. Hurricane Irene flooded much of the area around the cabin during the recording process and the band decided to donate all the proceeds from the EP to relief efforts. In true Vermont fashion, you can buy the EP alone or bundled with a pound of dark roast coffee
Would you believe it if we told you we had a cover of a Foster the People song that isn’t “Pumped Up Kicks”? Of course you wouldn’t. And we don’t. We do have, though, one of the finest versions of “Pumped Up Kicks” so far. It comes from Cris Cab, the Miami reggae-pop upstart we previously heard cover “All of the Lights.”
Labor Day may have come and gone, but technically we’ve got a few more weeks of summer left. So there’s still time for more covers of Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks,” the unofficial Indie Song of the Summer. The latest version comes from beloved Brits the Kooks, who performed a new cover for the BBC Live Lounge.