When I was asked to write about a band performing at this year’s Austin City Limits Festival, I found myself staring at a long and impressive lists of artists both established and new, all coming to put on a show for a massive crowd in Texas. I was stuck asking myself: should I have some fun and write about a controversial artist like Kanye West, or should I really dig deep and challenge myself in trying to write about a band I don’t yet know about? I ended up taking an easier path and choosing a band that isn’t yet the most recognized on the line-up, but who has quickly become one of my favorite bands of the year: Cults.
Hailing from New York City, Cults consists of Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion, two musicians whose voices can be heard throughout their 2011 self-titled album. The first words that come to mind when I hear Cults are “cheery” and “nostalgic.” In most of their songs, even when singing about topics such as heartbreak, they make everything seem okay because of their blissful overtone, which blends quite nicely with their 60’s inspired indie-pop sound. The featured track, “You Know What I Mean,” is my favorite song from their album. Again they are singing about a dark topic, this time loneliness, but they manage to create something beautiful out of it. I have come to label Cults in my mind as a band that colors their songs with incredibly grand and triumphant choruses. You’ll hear this in “You Know What I Mean.”
I have yet to see Cults perform live, but they’re quickly gaining recognition for their high-energy acts. With 60’s-inspired creations, it seems fitting that their shows inspire listeners in the crowd to sing and dance along. Cults are a band that I’ve been recommending to friends and fans of Sunset in the Rearview ever since their album release in June, and they’re one of the bands I’m most excited to see at 2011’s Austin City Limits. I hope you’ll join me on Friday, September 16th at the Honda Stage to see this lovely young band perform.
Written by Lydia Simmons of Sunset in the Rearview.