The JangleBox

Indie, Noise, Shoegaze… Music

Cults: Cults (2011)

Cuando allá por 2010 nos encontramos en la red con el Bandcamp gratuito de Cults, poco nos esperábamos que un año después, y tras una, todo hay que decirlo, cierta maniobra orquestada de márketing perfectamente calculada, Cults se habrían convertido en una de las referencias de este año musical. Su fórmula no es nueva: conjugan a la perfección sonidos añejos de Girl-Groups de la estela de Phil Spector añadiéndoles samplers y artilugios sonoros propios del siglo ventiuno. Sus canciones son directas, simples, sencillas y muy pegadizas (vaya adjetivo) en su mayoría, lo que hace que la fórmula tenga un éxito inmediato y su efesvercencia sea rápida. No sé cuánto tiempo les durará el invento, lo que es cierto es que fueron (con el permiso de She & Him) de los primeros en utilizar una fórmula que ha dado sus frutos en los últimos tiempos. Lo que es seguro es que este Cults (2011), se ha convertido en la referencia musical de muchos. Personalmente, opino que de alguna manera el salto a una gran discográfica les ha venido un poquito grande, y me quedo con los temas de su primera época, aquella de su Bandcamp, en la que intentaban mantener ese discreto anonimato, aunque con canciones como Abducted, Go outside, Most wanted, Walk at night o Never saw the point, ¿Quién puede resistirse al caramelo?

Cults – Cults (2011)

“When Cults‘ “Go Outside” first appeared on the web last year, it spread like wildfire. It was catchy and sweet, the kind of sing-along that felt like it was pulled from the air, with a sentiment perfect for anyone stuck in an office or addicted to the Internet. But how many communal sing-alongs can a band make before the approach goes stale? Cults have opted not to find out. “Go Outside” is on their debut album, and it still gives you your entire recommended daily allowance of vitamin D, but its dreamy drift is just one side of a band that proves it has the dexterity and songwriting chops to make a varied and memorable album.
Much has been made about the speed with which Cults signed to Columbia, as if they’re the first group to release a debut album on a major. That kind of rapid ascent isn’t anything new, but the speculation that came with it– online chatter pronouncing them destined for the one-hit-wonder bin– now looks grossly off the mark. At the center of the band’s appeal is singer Madeline Follin’s youthful alto. She has a tone that creates the impression you’re listening to a precocious tween fronting a band well versed in Phil Spector’s Back to Mono and three decades of climactic indie pop. The 1960s girl-pop element of their sound is pretty evident on the surface– “You Know What I Mean” even borrows its verse melody from the Supremes’ “Where Did Our Love Go“– but what they’ve done with it is pure 21st century, cutting it with synths, guitars, and softly integrated samples.
The samples, of cult leaders speaking to their followers, could have been a distraction had they chosen to make a big deal out of them, but they’re woven tightly into the album’s sonic fabric and processed to varying degrees of decipherability, which turns them into an effective textural element. Those voices bounce around in the intro to “Oh My God”, originally released last year as part of Adult Swim’s singles program, but subtly remixed for the LP. The music hasn’t changed here but the beat is amped up, and the bass has been moved forward in the mix, giving the song a much more powerful groove to support its melody. And if Follin’s lyrics aren’t necessarily deep– “I can run away and leave you anytime/ Please don’t tell me you know the plans for my life”– she delivers them with relatable and affecting conviction.
This taps into a vein of petulance that runs through the album. “I don’t need anyone else,” from “Never Saw the Point”, may read as a tossed-off line, but in a strangely positive way, it feels like the record’s main message. Even the eternally sunny “Go Outside” ends on the lyric, “I think I want to live my life and you’re just in my way.” These are teenage sentiments, the kind of things you feel dumb for saying and thinking once you’ve navigated into your mid-twenties, but they’re also universal sentiments during that stage of life when you’re trying to figure out what kind of person you’re going to be. Cults’ use of elements borrowed from traditionally teen music– girl groups, 50s prom-pop, bedroom indie pop– plays along with the lyrics to create a little world where one minute Follin is singing a frustrated “fuck you” (“Never Heal Myself”) and dreaming of escaping the next. Even the more formal pop explorations play to teen melodrama. The surging Spector pop of the record’s anthemic opener “Abducted” compares falling in love to being kidnapped, and gives the other Cult, Brian Oblivion, a brief lead vocal to play the abductor.
At just over a half hour, Cults feels like the perfect length– just long enough for the bus ride to school (or to work). But more importantly, it executes what it sets out to do masterfully while allowing the group room to grow and mature. They’ve also set themselves up to take their sound and subject matter in any number of possible directions in the future, and that’s a good position for a young band to find itself in. Cults built up a lot of goodwill last year on the strength of just three tracks; on their debut album, they’ve rewarded it” (pitchfork.com)

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19 agosto, 2011 Posted by | Cults | 1 comentario

Cults: Go outside (7″, 2010)

 

Cuando posteamos el álbum de Guards aquí en The JangleBox, los más observadores os percataríais de que en uno de sus cortes colaboraban Cults. Cults son uno de esos grupos que permanecen en el anonimato -más o menos como hace Guards-. Probablemente sean los mismos artistas con distintos alias, o amigos, o vaya usted a saber qué. Sólo se sabe de ellos que son un dúo chica/chico que residen en la zona de New York. Lo cierto es que este juego del anonimato se está convirtiendo en práctica habitual en muchas bandas en estos últimos tiempos. Y a fe que nos entretiene. Aunque lo realmente importante es el contenido, la música. Y ahí es donde Cults juega con ventaja. Este sencillo es una auténtica maravilla de Pop delicado e incluso algo kitch. Pop de plastilina, al estilo, por ejemplo, de Remington Super 60 o nuestros adorados Adventures in Stereo.  Juguetón y saltarín. Auténticamente delicioso. El tema que abre el single comienza con un sampler y navega caprichosamente por tus oídos. Y Most wanted, el segundo corte, no le va a la zaga. Lo cierto es que en medios como Pitchfork (nueve sobre diez) o NME ya comienzan a hablar de ellos, y cuando el río suena… Por lo pronto, este sencillo lo puedes descargar gratuitamente de forma legal desde su Bandcamp, aunque también lo podías comprar en vinilo, aunque al editarse muy pocas unidades, el disco está ya descatalogado.

Cults – Go outside (7″, 2010)

“There’s more information on the wrapper of a candy bar than there is on the Internet about Cults. The band’s got an un-Googleable name and no MySpace page in sight. They do, however, have a sparse Bandcamp page, where their first 7″ is listed for release on December 23, 2012. We have discovered that they are a boy/girl duo, that they live in New York, and that they are both film students. And we know that they have a killer song on that 7″ called “Go Outside”.
The song’s opening suggests that Cults have a slightly sinister sense of humor. Where the title suggests fresh air and a proactive trip into the sunshine, we first hear a quote from the ultimate cult leader, Jonestown figurehead
Jim Jones: “To me, death is not a fearful thing. It’s living that’s treacherous.” What follows, though, is pure butter: “Go Outside” has the innocent and balmy feel that brings to mind Swedish indie pop, with a tinkling glockenspiel cutting through humidity, an appealingly lazy bassline, and joyous sing-along vocals. But for all its simplicity, there’s some deep feeling coarsing through “Go Outside”, and Cults transcend the song’s Free Design-inspired 1960s pop origins. “You really want to hole up/ You really want to stay inside and sleep the light away,” the song chides, surrounding the voices in enveloping reverb, before following with, “I know what’s good/ Exactly ‘cause I have been there before.” And then it takes you there” (pitchfork.com)

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1 septiembre, 2010 Posted by | Cults | Deja un comentario

   

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