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02-08-2011
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Cults
Cults are a relatively new band; they have only one epynomous album and an interesting sound: kind of indie, kind of 60s female pop, kind of eerie. They are good to see live, too; I just saw them and they came on stage to the "Twin Peaks" theme music!

An introduction to Cults via Vogue.com:

Quote:
“Is it weird if I paint my nails while we talk?” asks Madeline Follin, who, along with boyfriend Brian Oblivion, makes up one half of New York–based duo Cults. Considering our location, a Twin Peaks–style diner on the Lower East Side, and Cults’ reputation for creating ethereal, 1960s-inspired garage pop with an eerie, cinematic quality, it only helps to further set a perfectly Lynch-ian mood.

To be fair, it’s hard not to think about David Lynch when listening to Cults. It’s clear from shimmery, hypnotic tracks, like “The Curse,” that they share his affinity for moody, ultrasleek coolness, where even something as docile as wholesome puppy love masks a peculiar kind of unsettling loneliness. This probably comes from the fact both Follin and Oblivion are self-confessed movie addicts (if you haven’t spotted it yet, the name Brian Oblivion is an alias, taken from a character in David Cronenberg’s cult horror film Videodrome) and formed the band just over a year ago, when they were both studying film at the New School and NYU, respectively. “It’s probably the reason we got along so well when we met,” Oblivion explains.

Although we have been treated to a plethora of girl groups making lovelorn, Shangri-Las-esque garage pop in recent months (e.g. Best Coast, The Vivian Girls, Dum Dum Girls, and their most recent offshoots, La Sera and Frankie Rose), it’s the hint of uncanny isolation that sets Cults apart, especially when the echoey guitars, and well-placed clicks on songs like “You Know What I Mean” eventually let rip and descend into a raucous, heart-stopping arrangement, with just a dash of synth-pop tinkering.

“A lot of what has led to the best success for our band has come from trusting and committing to a moment in time,” Oblivion says. “Something isn’t going to sound great forever, so you need to stop yourself from going back and changing it when the initial effect wears off.”
An Image from their NYLON shoot:



Bryan Sheffield .com

A few videos too:





This one features the band members inserted into footage from the Jonestown Massacre


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03-08-2011
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Here are a couple of vids from very recent radio station & coffee shop "unplugged" performances; they give a better sense of the ensemble the band has grown into and of the 60s motown influence.





Last edited by Not Plain Jane; 03-08-2011 at 10:46 AM.
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13-08-2011
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Here's a recent review of their live show at the ECHO in Los Angeles, from The L.A. Times (personally I love how they incorporate history and film into their own work):

Quote:
The New York pop band Cults has a knack for inserting itself into history. They do this most recently (and most literally) in the new video for their Internet hit single “Go Outside,” where their faces are spliced into jubilant footage from the Jonestown religious colony in the time before its infamous implosion. The clip was both galling and maybe the most punk-rock thing to happen in music videos this year.

But the whole idea of Cults is to dip into past eras of pop music and re-appropriate them with a modern production scrim. From their clearly beloved girl groups of the '60s to classic-rock psych-shred moments and hints of the '80s New Romantics that bubble up in their synth lines and skinny ties, Cults may be the apex of our moment in retro. At the Echo on Wednesday, their first L.A. show since their self-titled debut took off after a release on Columbia, they also proved they're not just a time-travel act.

In their early days, the duo tried to obscure their identities with fake names (though, as these things go, “Brian Oblivion” is pretty ace) and a cryptic Internet presence. The big reveal was something of a letdown -- they turned out to be two nice white kids from NYU film school -- but it let them get on with the business of writing lovestruck and spooky singles that, on Wednesday, went down like pop sugar with a bit of broken glass.

Cults’ singer Madeline Follin is to today’s crop of neo-soul divas what Rihanna is to Beyonce in R&B -- a frostier frontwoman whose flattened affect neatly compliments the spacious music. “Oh My God” and “Abducted” have rangy melodies, and her high reach brought some emotional drama to these gauzy, two-minutes-and-out tunes. In fact, some of the melodies seemed almost suspiciously good -- “You Know What I Mean” was a pretty flagrant nick from the Supremes’ “Where Did Our Love Go,” and moments of others seemed lifted from George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord,” itself a rip from the Chiffons’ “He’s So Fine.”

But the twenty-somethings in Cults have never known a world without sampling (they’re planning a rap mixtape with guest MCs atop their own tracks), and at least they’re making good use of the material. Cults is fleshed out with three auxiliary members live, including Follin’s brother Richie of the O.C. rock dudes the Willowz and his opening act Guards, and they all successfully translated a laptop-y record into a formidable physical presence. Oblivion isn’t a great live singer, but he’s a fine fuzz-pedal wrangler at the big moments of rougher tunes like “The Curse.”

But the real show was the interplay between Follin’s charm and Oblivion’s acerbity, and the band works much better being themselves than some kind of ad hoc Internet mystery.

While they played, they screened long sections from “The Night of the Hunter” behind them, and there was something uncannily appropriate about that film’s wide, gorgeous shots of two children canoeing down a stream while being chased by a deranged Robert Mitchum. The band is all about how sweetness is stalked by evil, and artists in every decade have to tackle that truth

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06-03-2012
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fun live performance for Spin...plays in crowd...accidentally unplugs.

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