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Chris Girdler's picture
Chris Girdler Joined: 9th December 2010
Last seen: 27th March 2014

Cults : Cults

Just a hint of the xylophone opening Go Outside by Brooklyn band Cults is trigger enough for it to be stuck in your head for the entire day. It's catchy like the whistle-led Young Folks by Peter, Bjorn & John was; an insistent ear-worm that just won't budge. Hopefully it doesn't outstay its welcome in the same way. For now, it's a tempting lure to the Cults' debut album, which has dropped from out of nowhere, on a major label and everything.

 

There are tricks that help weave the spell of Go Outside and they are repeated throughout. There are glockenspiel hooks echoing vocal hooks, while girl-group vocals 'doo-wop' and 'sha-la-la' in the background. There're shimmering keys and sampled voices that sound like they're submerged underwater. But there's a freshness to the album too, which is matched with a cozy familiarity that the Spector-heavy melodies bring. Strains of the '60s are a common element in today's indie-pop scene, but it's refreshed to hear it all bathed in slick, warm production and not nestled behind a tinny lo-fi barrier.

 

While Go Outside is the obvious highlight, it's closely matched by the lovelorn ballad You Know What I Mean. When vocalist Madeline Follin belts out the last chorus with the tiniest rasp in her sun-dappled voice, it's a real tug-at-the-heartstrings moment. But, other than this, Cults is just a whole lot of fun: short, snappy and great to do your hair to.

 

Best track: Go Outside

 

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In A Word: Addictive