Katie Reviews: Supermodel by Foster the People

Supermodel is different. Different from other albums, yes, but also different from Foster the People’s first offering, Torches, which provided the laid back, sunny soundtrack to my 2011 summer. A great debut album, yes, but what they wanted from their musical career, no.

The LA band’s commercially successful first single,Pumped Up Kicks, focused on the delicate issue of high school shootings in America, however, when the message was ignored, despite the media exposure, Mark Foster and his band feared that that was it for their aim of creating gritty, hard hitting music that really spoke to people in a way beyond that of today’s popular music Foster claimed that it was “hard for [him] when young kids sang [Pumped Up Kicks].  This is from where the darker feel of Supermodel has stemmed, the first port of call being to cut back on the light, happy sounds that lifted Torches into the spot light, but also masked the harsh realities conveyed in the lyrics.

My first listen of Supermodel was a disappointing one, disappointment I blame entirely on myself. Nothing else did an offbeat, happy feeling likeTorches and I’d been waiting for 3 years for the same band to give me that back. Mistake. The same is not always better. Despite not being what I had expected, further listenings enlightened me to what the band was looking for. This music isn’t as commercially accessible but it definitely is beautiful.

The chorus of lead track Are You What You Want To Be? gives a pleasant reminder of the band’s past life but quickly gives way to the dark, noir sound of the rest of the album. Front man Mark Foster’s wanderlust, exhibited by his years of travelling alone after the debut record to “explore music”, is definitely transferred to the sound of the album. It incorporates African and Eastern sounds throughout creating a fuller sound and depth to each song.

Despite the change in sounds, Foster’s distinctive vocals and haunting song writing remain the same, however, his lyrics are plagued with themes of change, identity and belonging, obviously ideas with which he was battling on his travels. Previous influences are still visible in places, for example the track Goats in Trees sees Foster abandon his trademark tone for a much deeper vocal, much more strongly resembling an early Rufus Wainwright song than any other track onSupermodel. This seemingly rouge piece, though, is pleasantly refreshing. It reminds you that change has been an integral part of the making of this album and leaves you wondering what the future has in store for this shape-shifting ensemble.

Supermodel is truly an achievement. It sums up the life of Mark Foster, perfectly delivering his thoughts and feelings during a period of exploration and wonder. For old fans, this is not what you remembered. For music lovers, this is an inspiring example of a band achieving their creative aim and there’s beauty in that alone.

Katie Rants: The Most Annoying Types of People

So, I am fully aware that I am not the most tolerant of people, but when I get annoyed I tend to rant about it for about 3 minutes then it’s gone and I can get on with my life. My flat mates have told me how entertaining these rants as I have the ability to find faults in the simplest of things, the most recent being that when I was in Italy over Easter, I found that they only have one meat on a pizza at a time…no meat feast…just the one. THAT IS NOT OK. I CANT CHOSE BETWEEN MEATS. I WANT ALL THE MEATS. But anyway, in response to their enjoyment of my rants I decided to start sharing them with you guys, I know it’s straying quite far from fashion but you know..complain and I’ll rant about you next. I’m starting with a big one…the mother of all annoyances…other people.

1) People Who Don’t Understand Sarcasm

I am the kind of person that is sarcastic to the point that when I give compliments people have to ask if I’m being serious. I can’t say the word ‘great’ and still sound serious…ever. But I love it. People say it’s the lowest form of wit but I don’t care, it’s incredibly entertaining for me, which is why I just can’t comprehend those people out there who don’t get it. Those people who just look at me like I’ve just insulted them so deeply and am now smiling about it, come on, seriously? How low is your opinion of me?! At that point I realise that I really have no way of every communicating with them again. All hope is lost. That is the end of a friendship. 

The worst is when I meet someone new, a time most people would try and be cautious but no, not me, I can’t turn it off. Their inability to understand sarcasm makes me look like the bad guy. Come on, learn. Your life will be greatly improved because of it. 

2) People Who Are Too Happy ALL THE TIME

No. I don’t believe you when you tell me you’re actually this happy all the time. It isn’t possible. It’s 9am, nothing good has happened to you yet today and more importantly I should still be in bed so leave me the fuck alone! I deal with some smiling, that’s fine, until someone asks me why I’m upset just cos I’m not constantly grinning like the Cheshire Cat. I’m not upset, this is just my face, sorry I’m not the sunshine that lights the world, at least I’m not annoying everyone in this stupidly early lecture who have had about 10 hours sleep combined. What is wrong with you. 

The worst is the insistence on talking about how constantly happy they are. As you may be able to tell, I’m drawing most of my annoyance from one specific example, and this nameless example can talk for Britain. I don’t care about how great it was seeing pictures of your brother’s orchestra show and I definitely don’t care about how those pictures have turned into you telling me every single aspect of his life, all with a massive smile on your face that I just want to punch off. You’re treading on dangerous ground here, everyone who acts like this, one day I will snap, and you’ll have no one to blame but yourselves. 

There will definitely be more to come but it felt wrong putting even more hate into one post. Feel my pain? Or find different groups excruciatingly annoying? Comment below.

Katie (I’m nice really…honest) x

No Make Up? No Problem

No make Up Selfie for Cancer Research
No make Up Selfie for Cancer Research

Inspired by the Cancer Research ‘No Make Up Selfie’ campaign from a few months ago I decided to share my thoughts on the subject. Posting a no  make up selfie is a bit different for me as I never wear make up anyway, I just hate the cringy idea of actually taking and uploading selfies, but most girls find this idea totally crazy. You will not believe the amount of people who ask me why I don’t wear make up as though it’s a serious crime that they couldn’t even fathom. Well my reasons are these:

1)I’m lazy as fuck

9am is way too early for a lecture in the first place without having to wake up an extra half hour early to put make up on. Same applies to people who put make up on for sport etc. My training starts at 7am. I have no time to cover my face in something that will just sweat right off. Sleep is precious people. Cherish it.

2)That stuff is EXPENSIVE

It’s crazy! I had no idea until recently just how expensive those tiny pots of, basically, face paint costs! And that’s just the bog standard stuff from Superdrug, those real make up enthusiasts who basically have an entire Mac store in their bedrooms must not eat to be able to afford that sort of stuff. Why bother? Food is great. Doing things with friends is great. That’s what money is for.

3) Technically, it’s just a form of lying

You wouldn’t claim to be a doctor when you’re not, so why claim to look like something you’re not? Imagine how scary it must be for a guy to only see his girlfriend with make up on then suddenly one day she looks like a totally different person?! It’s weird! You’re all so deceitful.

4) Finally, I’m shit at art

Not going to lie, this reason is probably the main one for me. I can’t draw a straight line on a piece of paper never mind along my eyelid. I don’t want the pressure of painting on a new face cos quite frankly, I can’t do it. I just can’t.
I mean, I’m not saying all girls should never wear any make up, it’s everyone’s own choice. And a little make up can just make you feel good if you’ve had a late night or a spotty disaster but all day every day is just excessive. What these no make up selfies have made me realise is just how different make up can make some people look. But it just isn’t necessary. Sleep is better, trust me.

The inconsequential ramblings of a grumpy, lazy student