Sacred Hearts Club by Foster The People : A Review

Foster The People’s ultra-famous breakthrough single anthem Pumped up Kicks from Torches and an intricate and human sophomore album Supermodel materialised them to be one of the most talented and creatively diverse group out there in the indie rock scene of this decade. At the age of 18, Mark Foster moved to Sylmar, Los Angeles to move in with his uncle. The LA lifestyle welcomed him to the world full of possibilities where he developed his varying artistic inclinations. He struggled with drug addiction at the age of 19, beat it and moved on to being a more productive musician. Mark Foster had a career as a jingle writer which gave him a sense of what works and what doesn’t in the pop music industry of America today. He waited tables earning bucks as he dealt with writer’s block. Eventually upon teaming up with Mark Pointius and Cubbie Fink, Foster had found his people. 2011 saw them release what would be their biggest single ever, which would become a youth anthem in the coming years, garnering more the 300 million views on YouTube and catapulting the group and their idiosyncratic sound to the very top of the modern alternative music. Their pop-rock-electro-psychedelia dance music became a brand of its own in the mid-2010s with an organic and fresh sounding second album Supermodel. Much like Lana Del Rey’s music and videos as a collective sparks nostalgia and an old familiar feeling, Foster The People’s music and videos also hint at the 90s and 2000s cultural nostalgia and coming of age, even though their music is futuristic and not reminiscent of the 90s.

Foster The People had released three songs earlier in 2017, one of which featured in my first half of top 30 Alternative songs of 2017, Pay the man. Pay the man, Doing it for money and SHC was released as an EP for their now out third album, Sacred Hearts Club. Pay the man which is also the first song of the record had me hyped up back when I listened to the EP. From the very beginning, 80s synth pop influences with Alternative house and hip hop beats alongside credible dubstep breakdowns put together and produced with a rock n roll school of thought is essentially what this album is about. Sometimes, diversifying your music to the extent in order to incorporate sounds from various genres out there can be tricky and often a bad hand. Before this album, Foster the People was already recognisable due to a personalised style that was their music and Mark’s vocal range and capacity. Everyone in the indie rock scenario is more than familiar with what Foster the People have sounded like on their previous records and often are encouraged, by their fans to sound a certain likeable way. That’s what, hits do to musicians. Experimentation is often not met with support and I read YouTube comments telling them that they should have stuck to their primal sound which was more pop and pleasing. But what most people never understood is, Foster The People is as much electronica as much it is an Alternative hip hop band, also as much it is a soft rock ensemble of the modern era. Pay The Man was nothing but a message, an information or even a guide by Mark and Co. that what was to follow and expect from them, here on. In Doing it for money, the message became just a little clearer as we went on listening, they are definitely not after fame or popularity, but the evolution of their music. Next, comes, Sit next to me and SHC which is most FTP sounding tracks on the record as people would label it. SHC almost sounds like an extra or a B side track from their first album, Torches.

Prior to the release, it was revealed that the album will feature the 60s inspired sounds and a psychedelic influence, which it did but only to an extent and in my opinion, failed to be a neo psychedelic masterpiece that it most certainly could have been. The later half of the album with songs like I love my friends, lotus eater, orange dream are lacklustre and forgettable songs, trying hard to stick to the overall environment that the earlier half of the album created but there seemed to be a lack of an effort. Static Space Lover, being the seventh track on the record recovers some of the lost intensity with its dreamy and 60s surf pop effect featuring actress-singer Jena Malone. Even then, the song is not done justice with its immediate successors, very forgetful and modulated Lotus eater and Time to get closer. Being a Foster the People fan, I was disappointed that certain gems from the beginning of the record and later, Static Space Lover was being lost amidst the uninspired tracks which seemed like fillers for the album to hold true to its vibe.
Little did I know that the best track of the album lyrically and sonically would be Loyal like Sid and Nancy, the 10th track. The song is not really punk but does have a heavy punk undertone fused with house, electronica and guitar music which is also structurally ambitious. Loyal like Sid and Nancy, is certainly the most hardcore track in the album, assembling all the musical influences that were at the centre of the album and their direction into one track. Listeners have criticised it to be a throwaway EDM track but if we critically judge the song for its arrangement and experimentation, keeping away your generic distaste towards electronic music, people would acknowledge it to be a great step ahead for the group. The album does not try to end in an over dramatic way, but more in a mellow and seems to arrive at the end, slowing down as it touches the 40th-minute mark.

After Supermodel and departure of bassist Cubie Fink, the band’s reinvention was a long time coming. Former touring members Sean Cimino and Isom Innis became official members in 2017 contributing to Sacred Hearts Club as multi instrumentalists.


Foster The People’s Current Line Up: Isom Innis, Mark Foster, Mark Pointius, Sean Cimino ( left to right)

Overall, I’d give Sacred Hearts Club, Foster The People’s third album a 3/5 for attempting to change their direction and sound from radio friendly to a raving electronic pop-rock record infusing elements of vaporwave beats , and while they lost some, they won more with Pay the man, Doing it for money, Sit next to me, SHC, Static Space Lover and Loyal like Sid and Nancy.

In Conversation with : PorkJet

A fresh indie rock band who go by the name PorkJet straight out of the capital, New Delhi debuted their very first single “Turn it Over”. A track which is reminiscent of the 00s garage rock/jangle pop cadence with the familiar catchy indie rock riff you think you might have heard off a particular song you can’t quite place, but only to find out later that you were wrong anyway. Following a similar musical approach while trudging through the college circuit, a band making free spirited rock music in this lukewarm music scene is a glimmer of hope that we all need. The music video, produced by Space Pepper Studios, in a black and white aesthetic is resonant with the famous music video by Jet for Are you Gonna be my Girl?


Lucky for me, speaking with the lead vocalist and guitarist of Pork Jet, Tushar allowed me a peek into their extensive rock and roll appetite.

Consisting of four guys, Aman(guitar), Sarthak(drums),Tarun(bass) and Tushar(vocals/guitar) – Aman being the unofficial creative head of the band. “Large portion of the creative process is handled by Aman with other members chiming in once the idea has evolved to an extent”, Tushar explains.
Having listened to a wide selection of music from Messugah to Bombay Bicycle Club, Tushar says that the band is constantly finding inspiration believing inspiration can be found in every record they hear.
At the same time, PorkJet doesn’t wish to adhere to any sort of musical labelling.

“It takes a lot of time for a band to develop a unique sound. At the moment we write whatever we think sounds good to us and will be fun to play on stage. We wrote an indie-ish song, we might write another, we might not.”

Tushar gave us his insights into writing and finishing songs as a collective while insisting on the importance of Aman as the creative behind their debut single, “The song was largely Aman. He played us the riff one day and we were sold!”

After innumerable jam sessions and a lot of restructuring to bring the song to a stage, the idea was clearer than ever. The recording process started around December of last year and the final song along with the video was released in March.

I asked Tushar about his and the band’s very first experience shooting a music video and I couldn’t help but ask him about the unusual band name. (I’m a sucker for band-name stories).

“The shooting was a really fun process. We had a lot of different ideas for the song but decided to go with the whole black and white thing since it really went well with the vibe of the song. The band’s name was just us mixing two random words together. I suggested “flying pigs” which eventually changed into PorkJet(courtesy of Tarun)”, Tushar said.


In this market putting out a record is a strenuous process in itself, but actually being able to sustain your art by gigging and touring as a band is definitely a superior challenge.

Summarising the interview by talking about the band’s gigging experiences and future projects, Tushar had this to say – “We as a band are collectively working towards refining our stage act and put forth an enjoyable show for the audience as well as the band. We gig quite regularly and the response has been a lot more positive than I had expected. Our focus is on working on our next song which is going along quite nicely. I for one cannot wait to be able to share with everyone.”

“Turn It Over” by PorkJet is also available on :

SoundCloud : m.soundcloud.com/porkjet/turn-it-over

BandCamp : porkjet.bandcamp.com/releases

Like and Follow here :

PorkJet : https://m.facebook.com/porkjetonline/

Space Pepper Studios : https://www.facebook.com/SpacePepper-Studios-127664240651247/

Wasted Records : m.facebook.com/wastedrecordsxx

A Lo Fi Band in Calcutta

Lo Fi music follows a DIY aesthetic of music production which entails within it an obscure soundscape and is often characterised by its intentional, technically imperfect but authentic music recording and structuring of songs. While elements of modern day Lo Fi can be traced back to the Shoegazing scene in the mid 80s trail-blazed by bands My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive, all the way back to the Beach Boys era of the 60s in it’s most saccharine form along with underground lo fi hip hop scenes all over the major hip hop centres of the world from the 00s, branching out since.

Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys from the album Pet Sounds

Introducing a one of a kind Lo Fi band from Calcutta, India, consisting of it’s three members – Bhargab, Subhas and Sougato. We got the opportunity to speak with the trio about their distinctive style of music, their avant-garde live sets, the local scene or a lack thereof and their EP – Holidays.

The band’s inception since the summer of 2017, had this to say about their sound – ” The idea behind this particular project was to produce a certain kind of sound which is imperfect, unpolished, drenched in reverb and reverb and more reverb, where you can barely hear the details.”
The seemingly oversaturated upbeat noise in their music is a consequence of their preference of low fidelity recordings. “It tells you about the place, the people and everything in between.”, speaking about why they’d rather make music to evoke a familiar feeling among their listeners than make generic pop rock tracks with catchy hooks.

For a band that chooses to stay true to their unhyped and understated dream pop music, gigging in a city like Calcutta poses to be very challenging where we’d only see cover acts sporadically filling up bars and coffee shops but never a truly original act. Nilein has similar thoughts regarding this matter – “Local scene? there’s no scene. there’s lack of original music out here, though gigging has been fun people seem to enjoy the live sets. Honestly, we didn’t expect much when we’re planning on doing this Avant-Garde kind of live sets, but the response has been quite good so far.”

“You guys have a couple of stripped down mellow tracks as well as a couple of up beat ambient tracks. As your music runs along this wide spectrum of Lo Fi, who are you musical influences?”

“Well, all of us are Inspired by different artists and their artistry and not only artists but places, a certain time period, and it’s vast but to name a few – bands like – Beach Fossils, Wild Nothing, Slowdive/composers like – Ryuichi Sakamoto, Adam Randal Young.”

Currently having released their debut EP – Holidays indeed is made by diligence and is quintessentially a bedroom project. “Holidays EP was recorded in a couple of days, there was no plan whatsoever, the production was pretty straightforward everything was done in the box, we recorded the vocals on a mobile phone and ran them through a bunch of guitar pedals, and that’s it pretty much”, Nilein said.

What does the future look like for this ambitious and introspective lo fi band?

“Well, that’s the question we get asked a lot, well honestly we don’t know, we just put out a new single and it’s called Central Park, there are a couple of unfinished tracks that are lying on the hard drive, we might just put them out for free or maybe an EP or LP perhaps! let’s see.”

Listen to Nilein’ music here :

Let me quote myself from an earlier post – “Culturally, for a certain type of music to prosper it is necessary for a scene of conscientious musicians to stay true to their DIY ethics which should be well supported by the niche audience and organisers in pockets of every major city in the country.”

From the perspective of a band that likes to blend into the background and make lo fi music while at it, the becoming of an encouraging indie scene in the city still appears to be a far fetched dream but it’s dream nonetheless, which hasn’t come true yet. All Nilein has today is their unique artistic vision and their ability to make great tracks using only their phones and a workstation in their computers, and that is intent and talent.

Also! head over to the page of Wasted Records on Facebook to check out more interviews and music of up and coming independent artists from India.


Meet the ladies who are spearheading the comeback of alt-pop

Got featured on The Orijinal with a post about the leading ladies of the Alt Pop Music of 2017 and influence of artists like Bjork, David Bowie on modern day art-pop artists like Lorde, Lana Del Rey and more.

Read, listen, comment and follow The Orijinal on WordPress!

You can read it on the link given below :


Hip Hop New Wave


Modern Hip hop is on an unprecedented rise like never before. A genre of music since it’s becoming in the 70s which were shunned and met with apprehension on most of its early days has developed into being if not the most creative but certainly, a pure and raw form of a poetic expression. It was the early 90s with the prominence of conscious artists like Tupac Shakur. Notorious BIG and Rakim, that the community declared itself to be a musical force to be reckoned with and represented a voice of a culture which everyone needed to be aware of. Currently, or what the last ten years have indicated is that hip hop or rap music is global. Granted that most people are aware of artists like Drake, The Migos or Hall of Famer, Eminem. But the fact that from being a widely misunderstood form of music or even stated to be “not real music” by metal-heads, hip-hop haters of older generations who perceive it to be vulgar and unentertaining and the out of context criticism of the music being misogynistic in nature by basic bandwagon anti-rap feminists, to entering the realm of pop music production and becoming the key element of pop music today and eventually, becoming a global phenomenon in a decade’s time is what makes hip hop’s growth and reach something sort of exceptional. We know the work of rap legends who painted the future of rap music and also the mid-2000s virtuosos like Kayne West and Jay Z who shaped the scene today that produces, films, raps and sings about the urban and pop culture of the world so distinctively and accurately that it is hard to ignore.



Today, Rap is global and rap is rock n roll. Young artists from Sweden and Japan are appearing on tracks with Travis Scott and Frank Ocean. South Korean rappers like Keith Ape are racking up millions of plays on YouTube. American rappers are selling out tours in places where a significant amount of their fans don’t speak much English if any at all. The impact of hip-hop is felt far beyond the country that birthed it. While most countries derived the music by mimicking the US by “play and tell”, there are nations with their cultures and subcultures that have their very own commentary on domestic matters. The Grime scene which basically is the hip hop scene in the UK inspired from a mixture of reggae, dancehall and UK’s underground garage and trip hop scene. Stormzy and Skepta are well-known names with their big hits – Shut Up and Shutdown, respectively.



When I mentioned how rap is equivalent to rock n roll music in its prime, I reflect back on the great music of the guitar driven bands of the 70s and 80s and their convoluted storytelling along with the groove and the funk of the 80s. Just as rock music was a derivation of the jazz and blues, rap music too originated with a similar rhythm and “feel” of Soul music. A perfect representation of this chain of influence can be seen on Kendrick Lamar’s TPAB’s 2016 Grammy performance in which he infuses modern hip hop with funk and old school Africano roots to showcase the African American Struggle. Hip Hop music also encompasses RnB which stands parallel with rap with artists like Frank Ocean, The Weekend or the mix of both in Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino.

A good beat is essential for a track to be memorable. The inventive sampling of old school beats or an air of chillwave or vapourwave beats to the track are two common ways of implementing the rhythm to tracks today. Chillwave is an offshoot of IDM music which has an underwhelming mid tempo beat or a “vibe” which carries the track and are often less aggressive. The influence of Vapourwave can be heard on the otherwise controversial and aggressive young rapper XXXTENTACION’s new album 17.



The talk about today’s rap is incomplete without the mention of Kendrick Lamar. Kendrick Lamar’s brilliance was noted from his sophomore album Good Kid, M.A.A.D City but the intent and creative vision of this man were seen on his successive records and possibly the greatest hip-hop albums of all time – To Pimp a Butterfly and DAMN. Kendrick Lamar is not only a brilliant lyricist and a rapper mastermind but is also a self-aware politician. His music always carries a deep message and often is a mirror to the modern society and the people who make it. The music takes different twists and turns based on his changing personalities in the narrative. Just as Drake is a pure entertainer when it comes to his music, Kendrick is a political speaker. He is doing more than producing radio-friendly tracks but representing African-American culture for what it is capable of, he talks about the sufferings of his family and friends, his criminal encounters and his tough childhood growing up in the city of Compton. But, what makes him a whole self-actualized artist is his efforts to make his people reflect upon the cinematic picture that he captures through his eyes and the urban balladry on his tracks. Kendrick’s entire discography is a documented project on the city that made him and he is the commentator on life and culture of this city. Element on DAMN. is a genius track in which Kung Fu Kenny proudly talks about his city and the hood culture that he has grown up in and realizes all the lessons it has taught him.



Often rap music is disregarded for the infamous mumble rappers or just the phenomenon of mumble rapping that is catching on. Just like the hated Glam rockers of 80s, mumble rappers also follow a pop beat driven music making without a necessary motive, i.e. hits. But as my belief goes, for every kind of music there is a serious musician who is confident of his abilities and has intent. The Mask Off track by Future featuring Kendrick Lamar proves just that.



From RnB to all kinds of rap, here are the top 5 artists who have shaped the new wave of hip hop music in the 2010s.

Frank Ocean
He is an American RnB singer and songwriter known for an idiosyncratic style which includes a creeping, self-introspective and transcendent sound of feelings of a man with anti-pop sentiments who sings the tales of youth and self-discovery. Here is Nikes from his second studio album Blonde.




Childish Gambino

Donald Glover is a writer first and foremost, started out as a comedian and script writer for TV shows like 30 Rock to actually starring in the hilarious sitcom Community to becoming the maker and writer of FOX hit series Atlanta. Rap seemed to be a skill that he picked up on very well along his other creative endeavors. His raps are filled with witty pop culture references and relationship woes such as in Camp until recently in Awaken My Love, where he changed his entire sound to focus on a throwback but a genius 70s Prince-like RnB and Soul record.



A$AP Rocky
The suavest lyrical rapper from the A$AP Mob group, Rocky carries himself with an understated swagger and flows similarly too, all over an acid dripped aesthetic.


Danny Brown
Hailing from Detroit, this rapper spits fast and is best known for his uniqueness. On this Jonah Hill directed video, Danny talks about his drug problems and we are concerned as much we are impressed.


Run the Jewels
They are an American Hip Hop duo formed by rapper/producer EI-P and rapper, Killer Mike. They are one of the few artists today who bring back the old school 90s beat and incorporate it, into their sound. A Report to the Shareholders/Kill Your Masters is a multifaceted hip hop track which has a lot to say.



Considering that hip-hop artists have always been inspired by, and provided commentary on, the places where they’re from, it’s not all that surprising, then, that hip-hop has evolved in different ways all around the world. There are cyphers being held in every little corner of a side-lined neighborhood in which people talk about what they see all around them and that is hip-hop. If the US has Kendrick Lamar, India has Naezy, the UK has Skepta, Japan has YDizzy and South Africa has Kwesta. Each of them representing their own national hip hop cultures.


Naved Shaik aka Naezy from Mumbai/Bombay, India.