When I bought Cults debut record back in 2011, I was in awe of how they merged 60s girl groups with a lo-fi sound. They were different from most duos that I love. They didn’t have the ferociousness of The Kills yet they had delicate tones much like Beach House. They combined everything I love about music and made a truly impressionable debut record. Songs like Never Saw The Point and Rave On became the soundtrack to all the ugly feelings I was carrying around yet gave me a hint of courage to throw it all away and to leave a soul-destroying place behind.
Move forward two years and they are about to release their second record, Static. The first single to be taken from it is High Road. The intro to it sounds like something Isaac Hayes would have created. The song would have been perfect in the 70s as a soundtrack to a Blaxploitation film. What I love about Cults is that they do not sound like the same old shit that is floating about. No one in this band is stood with an acoustic guitar looking sorry for themselves on stage. No one is standing looking bored hitting the keys on a synth with glitter scattered on their face just to look “different.” I’m so tired of that crap. I wish it’d go away. Instead of going back and listening to music from the 60s/70s, we have bands like Cults who manage to just stay well away from the dullness of most bands. They add an element of wonder to their music. Their lyrics make you think about everything going on in your life, even if you don’t want to think about it. Madeline and Brian’s vocals together is just beautiful.
High Road is the second beautiful song that the band have put out to introduce us to their new record. It doesn’t stray too much from their debut record. Their debut record didn’t sound like a band who had just released their first, they immediately lured you in with their ability to take you back to a time where music actually had substance, I’m only going by one new song but High Road makes you believe that Static could well be one of the best records this year.
For me High Road easily makes up for their absence over the past few years. Cults have evidently come back with something that is potentially going to be a brilliant piece of music. I love that High Road feels like it could easily have been on a soundtrack from decades ago. Cults are a band that fill you with nostalgia, but it’s up to what you are longing for. I think for the most part, we are all longing for the same thing. I cannot stop playing High Road, and I’m 100% sure that Static is going to be incredible, and I’m just casting my biased opinion aside briefly to make that judgement. With every listen I can hear something else to love and hints at how the band have, as awfully clichéd as it sounds, grown up.
Madeline and Brian both have delicate voices that sound so perfect together. They are a gorgeous duo that aren’t afraid to be utterly vulnerable with their lyrics. This vulnerability is what is missing from a lot of songs, but you’re never going to hear honesty like this blasting out on the airwaves. Most are alright with that, because when you search deeper you do find something beautiful.
Static is released 15th October. Cults, are quite clearly one of New York’s finest bands.