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Not long after the group formed, Foster wrote and recorded a song at Mophonics called "Pumped Up Kicks", which eventually proved to be the band's breakthrough.After Foster posted the song on his website as a free download in early 2010, it drew considerable attention; Nylon magazine used the track in an online advertising campaign, Foster was emailed by many people about "Pumped Up Kicks", and needing professional guidance, he contacted artist manager Brent Kredel at Monotone, Inc.Columbia senior director of creative licensing Jonathan Palmer said, "The plan helped us a great deal to set up more opportunities rather than chasing the release date.So by the time we put the record out in May, we had already placed several songs." Half of Torches songs were licensed—among them are: "Pumped Up Kicks" (Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries, Friends with Benefits, Entourage), "Houdini" (Gossip Girl); "Helena Beat" (The Vampire Diaries); "Don't Stop (Color on the Walls)" (Suits, Nissan Motors commercial); and "Call It What You Want" (FIFA 12).We're kind of in a similar situation [with Torches]." Beginning in July 2010, Sirius XM satellite radio's Alt Nation channel began playing Pumped Up Kicks, followed by many alternative radio stations including Los Angeles terrestrial stations KROQ-FM and KYSR in January 2011.s Rock Songs chart and a week later, it debuted on the Alternative Songs chart.In May, the track debuted at number 96 on the Billboard Hot 100, and later that month, the group released their first full-length studio album, Torches.After Foster the People signed their record deal, Kredel said, "The focus was to stop everything and not work on any marketing or touring, but to make an album that backed up 'Pumped Up Kicks.'" Wishing to avoid burnout, Startime allowed the group to pace themselves and not rush an album that would cash in on the popularity of the song.
After releasing their debut album Torches in May 2011, "Pumped Up Kicks" became a crossover hit on commercial radio in mid-2011 and eventually reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100.Fans who purchased the EP through the i Tunes Store were able to apply it towards the purchase of their full-length debut album.The EP drew the attention of organizers of March's South by Southwest festival, as well as executives looking to license music for upcoming season finales of television series.For the next few years, Foster waited tables at a cafe while dealing with writer's block, but he remained in Los Angeles after landing a job as a commercial jingle writer for Mophonics in 2008.
The music Foster wrote spanned a wide range of genres, but he had difficulty reconciling his eclectic compositions.
It was an obvious turning point that could be measured in numbers." The residency also drew the attention of music supervisors in attendance who would later help the group license their music.