Song of the day – 307: Cults (a rejoinder to the hipsters)
Inspired by Hannah Golightly’s recent impassioned words on Collapse Board, I began to listen to Cults.
I appreciate that the main point of saying you like a band like Cults is (superficially) to get in among what Chris Weingarten calls “the firsties”‘. That your opinion of them is somehow not valid if you weren’t among the initial batch of Pitchfork-led bloggers who got behind this ‘mysterious’ NYC-based duo a year back, and that if you don’t live near Brooklyn or Chicago, y’r fucked. That if Lily Allen got in there and signed the band to her label, and attempts have been made to create a viral video (while simultaneously following the Radiohead path of pretending not to market the band), a full year before I fell in love with them that … wait, what am I trying to say here?
1. This whole package stinks of the worst parts of hipsterdom.
The band, and the marketing campaign around this band, seems to have been specifically designed to appeal to the US kids whose whole existence hinges upon what Stephen Potter once so brilliantly depicted in his series of oneupmanship books. The name is unsearchable. The videos are near non-existent. Just makes folk wanna find them all the harder. The first EP was downloadable for free but only for a limited time, which totally increases its hipster value. Of course it’s available on seven-inch. If you weren’t into Cults during the spring of 2010 you might as well give up and get the fuck out of music – as my main Chicago lady Jessica Hopper snootily Tweeted from SxSW last week:
Loving the drunken #sxsw tweets of A&R guys and olllld rock crits “discovering” Pitchfork hypes from 5 months ago.
Bangs alone knows how low an opinion she has of people who didn’t – gasp – even go to the much overrated Music Business Conference For Rich Kids and Careerists.
Oddly, I don’t give a shit because:
2. This music is too precious to be left in the hands of the hipsters alone. Yes, I’ve come to it late. Yes, I’m way unhip. But you know what? You move out to Brisbane and come through the other side and you realise that much as there is an undeniable thrill to be had in discovering music first – and there is – this is only the very slightest of the pleasures to be derived when compared to that of actually listening to the music. Here. Maybe you too aren’t lucky enough to exist within the reach of the post-No Age kids, and aren’t a Vice editor. Don’t be worried. Come enjoy this. Music to make you swoon. Music that deliriously straddles several camps of music at once – the super-wonderful twee, Everett True’s summer season of femme-pop, Shadow Morton and all that, some ’78 UK punk attitude (hidden) and, most importantly for those with dollar signs in their eyes, some swoonsome dance beats like Portishead or similar once wrote – but is certainly none the less for it. It feels very Swedish, too.
This music is fucking amazing. I’m certainly not the first to claim this, but I won’t be the last either. And I’m not drunk.
Just heavily intoxicated.