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California-raised, East Village-based duo Cults – flawlessly comprised of Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin – is set to release their first full length since 2013’s Static on October 6th, an eleven track stunner aptly titled Offering. The two already have the music world abuzz, having already released the title track and second single “I Took Your Picture”, and then – most recently – a music video for their single “I Took Your Picture” which features an additional track, “With My Eyes Closed”. All of the releases feature featherlight vocals and entrancing synth, and it’s all just the tip of the iceberg with Offering. Luckily, they took the time and space necessary to have robust, new material for us in the wake of touring madness with their last projects.
“These songs have both instability and solutions for how to deal with instability,” Oblivion says. “I think my favorite lyric is from ‘Took Your Picture’: Tinge of blue/To the end/left our hearts/With regrets/I’m learning. That’s as close as you get to a thesis statement for the album.”
To expand, fourth track “Recovery” continues in an upbeat, glittering way without being overtly optimistic in its lyrical content, and “Right Words” comes forward with a full 80’s pop feel to it, singing of regret with timing. The beginning of “Good Religion” could be the intro to a 1950s/1960s sitcom, really establishing the feel good nature of its title, before a more self-reflective narrative ensues. By the time we get to seventh track “Natural State”, we’re wondering if we should expect sticky sweet harmonies for the entirety of the album, but this track takes a natural approach to a tempo slow-down, feeling more like a bluesy slow dance at a sock hop.
“Nothing Is Written” is even darker in its disposition, though it takes a while to establish its sound space through the static intro. That doesn’t keep Follin from matching what we have come to know of her high-reaching vocal range at times throughout the song, making it feel more like a steady wave in its tempo. (One might even draw comparisons to The Beach Boys at times, which is another layer of “wave” in itself.) Ninth track “Talk In Circles” really brings everything back to self reflection, as first line “take a step back” begs you to evaluate the situation from a different perspective. And while “Clear From Far Away” is more dependent on its staccato beat than its predecessors, “Gilded Lily” provides the tranquil, 80’s-influenced ballad we really needed to properly round out this delectable new release.
Catch Cults on one of their upcoming tour dates, outlined below.
Offering is out October 6th. Keep up with Cults here.