As music's influence on our lives continues to grow, artists are always finding new ways to shake up the formula. Music is art, so cryptic meanings and interesting interpretations are an essential source of enjoyment for people who spend more time with their headphones on than off.
Sometimes artists have a tendency to throw a curveball at audiences, offering upbeat tones alongside lyrics decidedly darker. Like a court jester breaking bad news to the king, there are scores of pop songs that have pleasant jingles to accompany and soften the blow of depressing lyrics.
Often we're oblivious to the sinister story unfolding, as the catchy tune is more than enough to bop to, but once we listen intently to the words spoken the full story of the song at hand becomes clearer with each line. With the best of them we regularly become so invested that it's easy to become overwhelmed with guilt that we were singing along so blissfully to a song with deeply upsetting, immensely jarring or just plain unkind writing.
Playing with audiences emotions is the tip of the iceberg for these ten untrustworthy tunes.
10. Pumped Up Kicks - Foster The People
Destined to echo from the walls of every student night at bars across the country, Pumped Up Kicks' funky bassline and overly-auto tuned vocals satisfy the musical appetites of hipsters everywhere.
The themes of Pumped Up Kicks are more well-known as the song's release gets further away, so the realisation that the song's meaning isn't at all similar to its indie-pop contemporaries was jarring, to say the least. Pumped Up Kicks is about a teenager with deeply homicidal thoughts; thoughts that he has every intention of acting upon.
Using descriptive cues such as likening the shooter to a cowboy with a cigarette hanging from his lips adds to the song's unnerving tone, as using such comparisons somehow makes the topic at hand feel slightly more light-hearted. It's difficult to say if that was intentional, but it certainly raises more compelling questions than if the song were a melancholic mess of depressing wordplay.
The song is all the more difficult to listen to with any regularity given the frequency of such heinous acts happening in the USA, but pairing these themes with one of the most recognisable riffs in recent years means it has a firm place in most people's Spotify playlist.