12 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

In early 2010 Cults (the duo of guitarist Brian Oblivion and singer Madeline Follin) posted a single called “Go Outside” that enjoyed some well-deserved buzz. Featuring twinkling glockenspiel, a pulsating beat, layers of echo, and a terminally infectious chorus it’s a catchy and clever tune. And it’s surrounded by enough good material to prove that Cults is no one-hit wonder. The band’s appeal lies with their straightforward approach: basic drum beats, shimmering guitars, and well-placed synths and trippy samples that wrap around Follin’s sunny, sing-along vocals. Her sweet and innocent voice is in contrast to the often snide lyrics that she delivers with the kind of seductive melodrama associated with Motown girl groups and female-fronted Phil Spector creations such as the Ronettes. The other standouts, namely “Abducted,” “Most Wanted,” “Oh My God,” and “Never Heal Myself,” are bouncy and textured and coated in a gauzy sheen that injects just the right amount of mystery to the album. Overall an enjoyable debut that manages to be intriguing while delivering the ear candy.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In early 2010 Cults (the duo of guitarist Brian Oblivion and singer Madeline Follin) posted a single called “Go Outside” that enjoyed some well-deserved buzz. Featuring twinkling glockenspiel, a pulsating beat, layers of echo, and a terminally infectious chorus it’s a catchy and clever tune. And it’s surrounded by enough good material to prove that Cults is no one-hit wonder. The band’s appeal lies with their straightforward approach: basic drum beats, shimmering guitars, and well-placed synths and trippy samples that wrap around Follin’s sunny, sing-along vocals. Her sweet and innocent voice is in contrast to the often snide lyrics that she delivers with the kind of seductive melodrama associated with Motown girl groups and female-fronted Phil Spector creations such as the Ronettes. The other standouts, namely “Abducted,” “Most Wanted,” “Oh My God,” and “Never Heal Myself,” are bouncy and textured and coated in a gauzy sheen that injects just the right amount of mystery to the album. Overall an enjoyable debut that manages to be intriguing while delivering the ear candy.

TITLE TIME
2:52
3:24
2:31
3:05
3:08
3:02
3:20
3:04
3:40
2:42
2:52

About Cults

Cults' twinkling experimental pop arrived in a shroud of mystery early in 2010, when the group posted three songs on its Bandcamp page. One of those songs was "Go Outside," which mixed dream pop haze with girl group harmonies (and, fittingly, samples of Jonestown leader Jim Jones) and earned the band acclaim from publications including Pitchfork and NME. Eventually, Cults' core duo was revealed as guitarist Brian Oblivion and vocalist Madeline Follin, who were also a couple. Later in 2010, Cults released Go Outside as a single on Forest Family Records and performed shows with bands including Best Coast. Early in 2011, the group made its U.K. debut and signed to Columbia Records; Cults' self-titled album, which featured production by Shane Stoneback, arrived in the middle of that year. Their sunny pop tunes were well received by critics and fans alike and they went on to tour heavily across America and Europe. The duo ended their relationship in the wake of their debut, yet continued to progress with the band. Together they wrote material during 2012 for their second album, which focused on their split and the pressures of growing up. The result was their sophomore record, Static, which arrived in October 2013. ~ Heather Phares & Scott Kerr

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