Foster The People Covers War: The Kooks V Panic! At The Disco V Weezer AND MORE

Foster The People’s Pumped Up Kicks was one of this year’s biggest hits and it looks like it may be claiming the title of most covered song of 2011 too. Yesterday, Mashable posted a ‘Youtube Cover Song Face-Off’ featuring e-celebs belting out the Summer hit but it’s not the stars of tomorrow singing it, it’s also being performed by the stars of today. Whilst compiling my list of hometown bands last week, I noticed that 2 out of 8 had sang rather nifty versions of the song and since then I’ve stumbled upon others over the interweb. But which out of the following is the best? And do any of them beat the original? Well feel free to rant and rave in the comments section below. Enjoy!

Panic! At The Disco

Not content with trashing Katy Perry in last week’s Covers War, P!ATD continue to make a habit of adding other artist’s songs to their fall tour’s set including “Dog Days Are Over” and of course “Rolling In The Deep”. Brendon can’t quite grasp the lyrics of Foster The People as well as he remember the words to Florence & The Machine and Adele’s hits but he gives it a go.

The Kooks

Last month, this Brighton-formed band treated BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge to a very accent-heavy cover of Foster The People. If you like what you hear, they also have a free download of an acoustic version of ‘Runaway’ here on BUZZNET. Pumped Up Kooks indeed…and yes, I did steal that pun from a Youtube comment.


As part of Billboard’s ‘Mashup Mondays post-season’, Karmin decided to perform Nicki Minaj’s Super Bass as well as (obviously) Pumped Up Kicks. The musical duo of Youtube origins perform an interestingly stripped back piano arrangement of the track, which may surprise (but not necessairily disappoint) those who are fans of their more hip-hop influenced sounds.


One of the first bands to cover the track (they did it way back in August), Weezer played the song on their US tour. FTP’s bassist Cubie Finks described being covered by Weezer as “kind-of mind blowing” and the moment was of particular emotional importance to frontman Mark Foster who recalled Rivers Cuomo teaching him how to play ‘Say It Ain’t So’ on guitar at a party 9 years ago. Bless.

Owl Eyes

Even earlier than Weezer, Australian singer Owl Eyes and her band popped in to radio station Triple J to play the “Like A Version” game. Her interpretation may be the ‘oldest’ (if a few months since birth can be considered ‘old’) but it’s arguable that her interpretation is still the freshest.

Sophie Madeleine

Finishing off the list is another artist from my hometown. Like The Kooks she hails from Brighton, but unlike The Kooks she plays ukele and recorded her cover in her house not Radio 1’s studio. This was part of a 30 days of covers so you can head over to her Youtube channel if you want to hear more.

Oh and yeah here’s the original, just for reference:

So that’s it for now, but which do you rate and which do you hate?