Cults, ‘Cults’ (Columbia)

By Travis Gass, BDN Staff
Posted June 30, 2011, at 2:43 p.m.

The success of NYC indie-pop duo Cults is proof that the Internet’s rise hasn’t been totally bad for music. OK, it’s been an unmitigated disaster for the music industry, which has seen sales plummet over the past decade thanks to illegal downloading. But for music fans, the Web has been a great tool for discovering promising new bands faster than ever before. Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion were students at New York University in 2010, making music on a lark to share with their friends. Within weeks of posting their first three-song EP to their Bandcamp page, the duo had garnered praise and coverage from dozens of music blogs and websites. They soon signed a deal with a major label, Columbia Records, and now their self-titled debut album is set to follow last year’s debut from like-minded Best Coast as the perfect light, frothy indie-pop record to soundtrack your trip to the beach or backyard barbecue. Follin and Oblivion try to live up to their band name by including vaguely creepy soundbites from cult leaders like Jim Jones in their songs, but the joyous jangle of tracks like “Go Outside” easily outweighs the attempts at being “deep.” Cults succeed more often when they add an edge of genuine desperation to their music; Follin’s normally immaculate, girlish vocals betray real emotion when she shouts, “He tore me apart because I really loved him” on opener “Abducted,” while girl-group-throwback ballad “You Know What I Mean” oozes with enough teenage longing that you’d swear it was a cover of some lost ‘60s classic. “Cults” isn’t totally perfect, as some of the lesser songs tend to fly by in a pleasant blur of la-la-las, but for a couple of kids barely out of their teens, it’s a remarkably assured and fully formed introduction.

 

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/06/30/living/cults-cults-columbia/ printed on August 21, 2014