Order the album Static by Cults and get a limited* autographed CD booklet with purchase!
Cults has always been a band to look to both past and present. When the young duo arrived on the New York scene in 2010 with the perfectly formed debut single "Go Outside," it was described as Phil Spector with hip-hop sensibilities, glee soaked in reverb. Sometimes, when Madeline Follin's friends heard the song, they asked her how they got little boys to sing on it. "That's just me!" she told them. In fact, if you ask Brian Oblivion to name his favorite album, he'll name Home Schooled: The ABCs of Kid Soul, a compilation by the Numero Group, a collection of lost, old R&B recorded by children. Brian adores the the crate-digging Chicago reissue label and its dusty, forgotten music. "Whenever we make songs, I picture imaginary bands," he says.
What make-believe bands can be heard on Static? "I Can Hardly Make You Mine" is Petula Clark pounding a "Downtown" piano beat while fronting a Jesus and Mary Chain maelstrom. The bouncing, shimmering "Always Forever" and "We've Got It" rocket girl-group doo-wop into the shoegazer dream-pop stratosphere. "High Road" gallops through a spaghetti western soundscape in a sandstorm of strings and organ, like Morricone teaching us how to walk like an Egyptian. Though such fantasy might be too shallow for the record's emotional centerpiece, "Were Before," a duet that is quintessential Cults. "We both needed our own world, just the way were before," Brian and Madeline sing at the same time, though not necessarily together.
Static is funkier and denser than its predecessor, something immediately apparent from the cool strut of "High Road." "I started out as a bass player," Brian says. "That's how I write songs, on bass." Oblivion then fleshes the songs out with drums, guitar, piano, farfisa, strings, layers and layers. He plays just about all of the sounds on Static himself, save for slide guitar. "Everything today is party, party, dance, dance nonstop," Brian says. "There's room for more moody and introspective dance music. We wanted to make a groovy record."
There's a cliché that claims you have your whole life to make your debut album and one year to make your second. The immediacy of internet fame has killed that. Brian and Madeline were raised in San Diego and both attended film school in New York City. At 21, the two moved in together in Manhattan. Cults began merely as apartment hobby, with Brian fiddling with fragments of tunes and Madeline trilling on top. They put songs online. In a matter of days, the two were receiving fan e-mails and gig offers. From there, the blogs quickly sniffed them out. Soon, a contract with Columbia. A tour that lasted nearly three years. A self-titled 2011 debut recorded in schedule gaps. Lollapalooza, All Tomorrows Parties, Bonnaroo, Pitchfork. Malmö, Singapore, Buffalo, Melbourne. By the end of the cycle, Cults were exhausted and separated.
Brian and Madeline began recording Static with friend Shane Stoneback, who co-produced their debut. The process was the same as ever. "I'd be in one room working on lyrics. Brian would be working on finishing a song. We'd come to the point where we couldn't get any further and switch places." Madeline enjoyed having a set schedule. She stopped having panic attacks. The former couple found they worked better than when they were together. "We were not as afraid to speak the truth."
Cults' North American Tour Dates:
- 10/22 - The Sinclair - Boston, MA
- 10/23 - Theatre of Living Arts - Philadelphia, PA
- 10/26 - Life is Beautiful - Las Vegas, NV
- 10/29 - Black Cat - Washington, DC
- 10/30 - Motorco Music Hall - Durham, NC
- 10/31 - Visulite Theatre - Charlotte, NC
- 11/1 - The Loft - Atlanta, GA
- 11/2 - Voodoo Festival - New Orleans, LA
- 11/4 - Emo's - Austin, TX
- 11/5 - Fitzgeralds - Houston, TX
- 11/6 - Tree's - Dallas, TX
- 11/8 - Launchpad - Albuquerque, NM
- 11/9 - Crescent Ballroom - Phoenix, AZ
- 11/10 - The Irenic - San Diego, CA
- 11/12 - El Rey Theatre - Los Angeles, CA
- 11/13 - The Fillmore - San Francisco, CA
- 11/15 - Wonder Ballroom - Portland, OR
- 11/16 - Rio Theatre - Vancouver, BC
- 11/17 - Neumo's - Seattle, WA
- 11/20 - Bluebird Theatre - Denver, CO
- 11/21 - The Slowdown - Omaha, NE
- 11/22 - First Ave - Minneapolis, MN
- 11/23 - Metro - Chicago, IL
- 11/24 - Grog Shop - Cleveland, OH
- 11/25 - Lee's Palace - Toronto, ON
- 11/26 - Webster Hall - New York, NY
*Offer valid only with purchase of Static. This special offer is valid for both domestic and international orders. CDs shipping with promotional items are limited to (5) per customer. Autographed CD booklets will be available while supplies last, newburycomics.com will post information when autographed booklets are sold out.
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