Cults made their name in black and white. A pair of film school dropouts who burst onto the New York scene with a perfect single and a darkly retro sound, the band’ s first two albums play like noirish documentaries on a lost girl group. Four years after Static, Cults returns with Offering, an exciting collection of songs bursting with heart, confidence, shimmering melody and buzzing life. The time off has given the band new energy and new ideas–Cults are working in Technicolor now.
The core duo remains the same. Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion, both 28, still live in New York. They still finish each other’ s thoughts and still share a love of catchy music and black humor (this is a band that sampled cult leader Jim Jones on their first hit). But the pair have put some blood on the tracks since their breakout debut: they’ ve toured the world, built a devoted audience, survived a breakup, grown up in green rooms, parted ways with their old label and made a home of their new one. After the whirlwind of Static died down, Follin and Oblivion made a conscious decision to shift gears:
I feel like we stepped into a tour van when we were 21, and basically didn’ t get out of it for the next few years,” Oblivion says. “We wanted to give ourselves some space to have normal lives, and wait until there was something new to say.”“It was exciting, because writing stopped feeling like a homework assignment. I was able to sit down and do it only when I wanted to,” says Follin. “These songs are less art projects, less thinking ‘ this is a heartbreak song, what would Lesley Gore do?’ and more reflective of things that have happened in our own lives.”
Cults took their time, going through a few dozen discarded demos before arriving on a pair of songs that felt special– the rollicking, sweet-but-dark “Right Words” and the buzzy earworm “Recovery.” Once they had a direction, Follin and Oblivion enlisted longtime engineer Shane Stoneback to help guide the sessions, working bit by bit, never rushing, letting the material develop naturally.
**ticket price includes download of Cults’ new album Offering