Foster the People, Mayer Hawthorne and the County
Before the Interwebs preserved every byte of information for eternity, Foster the People would've been one-hit wonders; their "Pumped Up Kicks" would've hit for six weeks and then fizzled into the next fad. Instead the blog hype and YouTube-ificaiton of "Pumped Up Kicks"—an undeniably catchy sliver of California-brand synthpop derived from the DNA of Cake and Sugar Ray—led to 3.6 million downloads, garnered the band a record deal for the release of last year's Torches and caught the attention of Kenny G, who appeared with FTP on SNL. Which is one example of the band's sense of humor. Another: In the video for its second hit single, "Houdini," the generically good-looking, sweet-sounding trio dies before a concert and is replaced by lifelike robots, their audience none the wiser.