Review | Cults – Cults

Cults – Abducted by cultscultscults

A great debut album can do a lot of things. It gets the blogs buzzing, ends up on year-end best-of lists, and most importantly, garners and inspires a large audience of new fans. But indie darlings Cults haven’t been paying much attention to the standard cause-and-effect timeline of breaking bands. They’re doing it all backwards.

Sometime in February of 2010 Cults released a three-song EP via their bandcamp page. And due to the lack of information on the site, and the general un-google-able nature of their band name, nobody really knew anything except what could be derived from the three songs: Cults played addictive, sugar-coated vintage lo-fi pop. And it was good. Really good.

The track ‘Go Outside’ became the most talked-about, blogged-about track from the EP, and damnit, we wanted to hear more. So in between opening for Best Coast, Maps and Atlases and Sleigh Bells and playing a few festivals, Cults recorded their debut album. On June 7, almost a year and a half after they first offered up their three songs for free online, Cults’ released their debut album.

The boy-girl duo, made up of Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion, have crafted a cohesive album with back-and-forth vocals on songs that start out simultaneously slow and catchy, but erupt into I-dare-you-not-to-dance drum beats and hooks. ‘Abducted’ and ‘You Know What I Mean’ are perfect examples of this. But beneath the sugary sweet sounds are darker lyrics. Follin’s heart bleeds out on ‘Abducted’ and ‘You Know What I Mean’ is an agreeing conversation about unhappiness.

But despite the heavier lyrics, the entire album really is the perfect compliment to blue skies and Wayfarers. Cults’ album is likely to sit atop the best summer albums of 2011, but it’s also assumed that it will sit atop many best-of-2011 lists as well. The only downside is length. The 11-track debut finishes in just over 35 minutes. But there’s a solution to that: listen and repeat.

Cults are currently touring in support of their new album. They’ll play Brighton Music Hall on June 12th, and they continue their tour in the U.S. through August before heading across the Atlantic for a few shows.