11 Songs, 37 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The second album by Cult of Youth opens with a gorgeous, stately song that builds on congas that morph into huge, echoing floor toms. Then acoustic guitar strumming gives way to a heavenly female chorus, strings, and golden horns. Sean Ragon’s blackhearted baritone gets about as close to uplifting as one imagines possible, and Cult of Youth’s entire raison d’être—to create beautiful music in a folk-goth world—comes fully and clearly into focus. There are many eerily lovely moments on Love Will Prevail, and Ragon’s dark vocals, the raging acoustic guitars, and brushed snares feel like a melding of Joy Division and Death in June. Songs like “It Took a Lifetime” and “Golden Age” seem bent on breaking a few acoustic guitar strings, with fleet violin notes leading the way on the latter and a feverishly knitted bass and drum driving the former. There are pastoral, pretty moments (“Prince of Peace,” “New Old Ways”), a bit of Pogues-in-black raucousness (“Path of Total Freedom”), and sweeping drama (“To Lay with the Wolves”) alongside tunes that embrace both grit and grace with tried-and-true rock ’n’ roll fervor.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The second album by Cult of Youth opens with a gorgeous, stately song that builds on congas that morph into huge, echoing floor toms. Then acoustic guitar strumming gives way to a heavenly female chorus, strings, and golden horns. Sean Ragon’s blackhearted baritone gets about as close to uplifting as one imagines possible, and Cult of Youth’s entire raison d’être—to create beautiful music in a folk-goth world—comes fully and clearly into focus. There are many eerily lovely moments on Love Will Prevail, and Ragon’s dark vocals, the raging acoustic guitars, and brushed snares feel like a melding of Joy Division and Death in June. Songs like “It Took a Lifetime” and “Golden Age” seem bent on breaking a few acoustic guitar strings, with fleet violin notes leading the way on the latter and a feverishly knitted bass and drum driving the former. There are pastoral, pretty moments (“Prince of Peace,” “New Old Ways”), a bit of Pogues-in-black raucousness (“Path of Total Freedom”), and sweeping drama (“To Lay with the Wolves”) alongside tunes that embrace both grit and grace with tried-and-true rock ’n’ roll fervor.

TITLE TIME
3:19
2:27
3:54
3:17
2:41
6:04
1:10
3:49
5:01
3:19
2:27

About Cult of Youth

Originally started as a bedroom recording project by former Love as Laughter bassist Sean Ragon, Cult of Youth are a neo-folk band based out of Brooklyn. With a sound that's dark and pastoral, the band brings to mind a darker version of the Pogues, merging effervescent acoustic guitars and thumping traditional rhythms, with Ragon's bellowing baritone adding an ominous spin to the bouncing sound. The project made its debut as a mostly solo effort in 2008 with A Stick to Bind, a Seed to Grow, which saw a limited released on Dais. Eventually, Ragon recruited a more permanent backing band, calling upon the talents of drummer Glenn Maryansky, violinist Christiana Key, and bassist Micki Pellerano. With a new lineup at his disposal, Ragon expanded the band's sound for its eponymous sophomore effort, which was released in 2011 on Sacred Bones. Growth in the band's sound continued with 2012's Love Will Prevail, which married the neo-folk acoustic strums of Death in June or Current 93 to an almost chamber pop style of orchestration. Almost two years later, fourth album Final Days emerged, finding the project expanded from Ragon and various collaborators into a solid lineup including guitarist Christian Kount, drummer Cory Flannigan, and bassist Jasper McGandy. ~ Gregory Heaney

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