"Helena Beat" is a song by American indie pop group Foster the People. It is the opening track from their debut studio album Torches and was released as the record's first single. It was solicited to radio on July 26, 2011, and solicited to radio in the United Kingdom on September 5, 2011. On August 10, 2011, BBC Radio 1 DJ Greg James selected the song as his Record of the Week.
"Helena Beat" was written by the group's lead songwriter Mark Foster to embody the attitude of the drug culture within Hollywood. Foster says the lyrics—particularly the line "yeah its okay, I tie my hands up to a chair so I don't fall that way"—are meant to express the nonchalant attitude that people had to their destructive tendencies. He said, "They're the young, hot, up and coming, powerful people that are gonna run the world. But they're just going out and doing drugs every night. They're saying it with this big smile of their face like 'I'm great, everything's great,' 'but don't you see that you're completely out of your mind on drugs right now that you can't even stand?'." The title of the song is derived from an ex-girlfriend of Foster's who used to party heavily. Foster composed the song using the Logic Pro software; the original project file for "Helena Beat" is included in new copies of the application.
A music video, directed by Ace Norton, to accompany the release of "Helena Beat" was released onto YouTube on July 18, 2011. The video debuted on the MuchMusic Countdown in Canada on August 11 at No. 30, and peaked at No. 18.
The video begins with singer Mark Foster fleeing from a destroyed Los Angeles in a dystopian future along with his dog – inspired by the film Mad Max. On the road out of the city, he finds a baby carriage and goes to investigate. When he gets out of the van, a gang of violent, rebellious children attacks him and takes him hostage while his dog flees. The other members of the band are taken hostage as well. They are then taken to the children's headquarters, where they are tortured, beaten, and abused. Foster is then seated and restrained, he's joined to a strange machine that's also attached to an older man seated opposite him. When the machine powers on, bright bolts of electricity arc back and forth, and the machine looks as if it is going to transform the older man into someone young again by stealing Foster's youth. Instead, it works quite the opposite and when the device is turned off, alternately most of the life is drained from the man (now very old) and Foster is turned into a young boy. After being turned into a child, he is now accepted as one of them.