Spree Music with Me: Cults


Photo by Ben Pier

Lots of bands come to my ears from out of nowhere. Overflow bins, opening acts, snippets inside stores, restaurants, too-loud headphones, even the radio. Which is why where I end up stumbling over them tends to be so interesting. Cults is one of the few recent bands I can say I tripped over while listening to the (college) radio. So technically, they came out of thin air.
Or the sky.

The story of Cults begins with the assertion that they came out of nowhere at the tail end of 2010. As the months accumulated in 2011, it was learned that the duo hails from a couple of places where a number of bands are known to reside: New York City and 60s-era pop and rock. Cults articulate mixture of these places is what makes them so enthralling to hear, and so unique when compared to groups with similar influences.

Read the rest of the article on Buffalo Spree. While Elvis Costello helps me explain some of Cults’ sound, I think they’re radically different artists. Cults seems to take the idea of love to dark places, but still make it sunshine and brightness. While some of Costello’s late ’70’s and 80’s work exemplifies the duality that I think Cults is toying with, albeit writ large over each album. An old trick–saying one thing while meaning another–for sure, but an interesting way for both artists to explore saying it anew.

Enjoy a video of Costello’s 1978 performance of “Pump It Up” as an example, and for his glasses.


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