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Cults – Cults

Lisa Bentley


New York based duo Cults release their self titled debut on the 30th May to much glorious excitement.  The band, who are signed to Lily Allen’s label In The Name Of have caused a stir recently with their infectious indie pop, and their first album does not disappoint. The first three tracks are ones we know, the releases that made us fall for this incredible band to begin with – Abducted, Go Outside and You Know What I Mean a welcome introduction to what they’re all about – sugar and salt mixed together, an unthinkable concoction of bittersweet taste.  For every moment of sweetness there is a dark undertone hidden beneath the syrupy lyrics or melody.

The tale of unrequited love found in Abducted is heartbreaking in its lyrical juxtaposition, both sides of the saga being recounted.  Madeline Follin claiming ‘I knew right then he’d be breaking my heart’ battling against Brian Oblivion’s refrain ‘I knew right then I would be breaking her heart.’ As well as being band mates, Follin and Oblivion are a real life couple in love – an antithesis to the lyrics presented and to the happy go lucky music that envelops their songs.  It is a fantastic album opener and rare gem of a song.

Whilst the band portrays themselves as a duo it is Follin’s voice that stands at the forefront, reaching ridiculous levels of intimacy with its power.  You Know What I Mean drips with heartbreak, the music creating a bewitching image of taffeta and teen lust. The songs that proceed are on the same level of their releases – sweet sixties style with a dark undercoating.  Songs like Bad Things, Rave On and Oh My God stand out particularly on the album and it is hard not to notice similarities to fellow boy/girl duo She and Him, whom also dance on the vintage periphery.

Many of the tracks are layered with impalpable, obscure narrative, at times a rare phrase pops out making you question the agenda of the band and the album as a whole.  For me though, I can honestly say I am ready to join this cult.