By Jay Tilles
It’s almost time for Foster the People‘s sophomore album Supermodel to come alive. Anyone who’s driven past 539 S. Los Angeles St in Los Angeles is already familiar with the album. There stands an eight-story mural made of the beautiful, Klimt-esque cover for Supermodel, painted by a Dutch artist known as Young & Sick, who also did the artwork for Foster the People’s 2011 debut, Torches. The massive undertaking of putting up a 130 foot mural was documented earlier this year in a time-lapse movie, backed by the band’s first single “Coming of Age.”
Sitting down with Radio.com, frontman Mark Foster explained that “Coming of Age” wasn’t born in just one recording session. “Some songs get finished in a couple hours, some songs take a while and this was like, every couple of days, we would start recording, we’d finish another song, come back to It, we’d do something to it, we’d put it down, go back to another song, work work work, and pick it up a couple days later. Over time it started to take shape and actually become a real song.”
Speaking about the album’s overarching theme of interpersonal communications in a modern world, Foster said the state of social networking had been taking up a lot of his thought, noting that “we have this new technology and we don’t really know what its long term effects will be.” He called it a “cheap version” of real human connection. “I feel like kids are getting more and more used to communicating through a glass screen than they are face-to-face and that worries me a little.”
“I feel we’re living in a supermodel culture, Foster said of the album’s title track. “Through technology and social media we’re able to create an identity online that shows people the face that we want them to see and rather than who they really are.” Fascinated by the ability to curate our image; how clever we are on Twitter, how artistic we are on Instagram, Foster joked “We can take a thousand selfies and take the best one and say ‘nah man, I just woke up like that,’” (a nod to Beyonce‘s track “I Woke Up Like This.”)
Contrary to early reports, Foster said Supermodel isn’t rooted in anger. The singer calls the album an “emotional ride through a lot of different feelings.”
Supermodel hits stores tomorrow, March 18.