10 REVIEWS OF THE NEW CULTS ALBUM – 5: the good review (U.S.)
by Scott Creney
I’ve done as little research as possible. I like this album too much, and I don’t want the truth to ruin my illusions. I’m sure that will happen soon enough. It’s 34 minutes of sun-kissed energy, echoing endlessly.
You may not hear a better-sounding album all year than the debut album from Cults. Give me another week with it, and I may consider dropping the ‘sounding’ from that last sentence. This takes the best parts from all that summertime indie-pop that’s been surfacing over the last few years and not only synthesizes it into a glorious whole, but takes it places those artists never imagined. In Cults’ new album, we get the reverb-drenched haze of Panda Bear, only more fun and less stoned. We get a more confident Best Coast. We get, for once, something resembling content, subject matter, a point of view.
And none of these artists ever dropped their guard, simply let go and screamed, the way the singer does at the end of ‘You Know What I Mean’. There is a desire — no, a need to connect with other human beings, that we haven’t heard in this kind of music for some time. Despite the obviousness of their influences — girl-groups, reverb, I’m even catching bits of dub here and there — Cults is firmly rooted in the present-day, with zero nostalgia to be heard, no traces of looking over their shoulder.
Cults knows what it is doing.
Cults knows the difference between an influence and a cliché.
Cults music admits there is struggle in the world, but it remains a sound of triumph, of leaving the dead behind and charging into a new universe.
Here’s the lead video. Sorry for the commercial at the beginning.
If we need to find something negative to say about Cults — and this being Collapse Board, someone’s probably going to get around to it sooner rather than later—we can point to the fact that their music would fit seamlessly into a commercial for any Apple product you might imagine.
Their music may not change the world; it may not change the way people think, or invent a new way of walking — the way the greatest pop/rock music has managed to do — but it will make for great listening until something like that comes along.