A few years ago, Cults made waves with the release of a stellar self-titled LP. With a decidedly throwback sound and most of their material revolving around the saccharine, sweet notes of Mary Weiss’ lookalike Madeline Follin, the band successfully carried the girl group revival torch for Amy Winehouse. It didn’t hurt that Follin could’ve passed for Mary Weiss’ long lost sister and that the rest of the group appeared as if they’d just stepped out of an Haight-Ashbury beatnik reading. Fitting perfectly with their image, Cults proved solid offering a blend of throwback sounds – ’70s organ, sixties soul, and melodies from the ’60s girl group glory days. Follin and co-collaborator Brian Oblivion successfully borrowed from the past and made it their own by blending their sound with echo-y synth sounds, reverb-soaked melodies, and healthy amounts of glockenspiel.
In the two years since their initial release, the group signed with Columbia records and hit the festival circuit the world over. Formerly a couple, Follin and Oblivion have called it quits romantically but, have not let their breakup lead to the end of their professional relationship, Gwen Stefani/Tony Kanal style. This month, the group released their second album, Static. Ditching the samples of 1970s’ cults (actual cults) recordings, used throughout their debut, the group instead intersperse hints of fuzz. The sound of “static” opens the album’s first single, “High Road” before leading into sharp keyboard strokes seconds in. The video for “High Road” sees the group experimenting with a black and white film noire aesthetic. It’s a look that works for them, and a reminder that Cults excel at jumping from decade to decade for inspiration with effortless ease.
If you’re like me and you didn’t catch Cults when they made their way through Seattle the last time(s) around, why not check them out at Neumos this Sunday? They’ll be joined by New York-based psych rockers Sacco and dream pop quintet Mood Rings.
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