TVD Live Shots: Cults
at The Garage, 1/25

I was first introduced to Cults back in 2011 when I was working at Sony Music. The band had a HUGE buzz about them, and Columbia Records was THE label to be on at the time. I was excited to have an opportunity to work this record to my accounts at the time, but alas they were given to the independent arm of the label and released through RED Distribution.

This was a play for credibility which didn’t make sense to me at the time. I mean, was the band on a major label? Yes. But they didn’t use the distribution? And who could work on this record? Would the band graduate to Sony Music proper? This happened all the time, and I’m not sure if anyone benefitted from the thought process here, but at least I got a copy of the debut record on vinyl.

There was a lot of mystery around Cults then too. I thought that was pretty cool at a time when social media was taking off that a band would forego all of the attention and retain their mystique. This was pre-Sia, so it certainly wasn’t the cool thing to do. The record was fantastic and had a ’60s California AM radio pop feel to it. The critics loved it, Pitchfork was all over it, and it looked like there was no stopping Cults from dominating the indie rock scene for years to come.

Then the second record arrived, however it was overshadowed by the news that the couple behind the music—singer/lyricist Madeline Follin and guitarist Brian Oblivion—split up the previous year. I have to admit that since I left the industry I completely missed the record as I was trying to find my way in the world of tech marketing. I had pretty much lost track of Cults until October of last year.

Cults have returned with a new album called Offering, and I saw a poster on the street here in London announcing an upcoming show. I never got to see the band during my music biz days, so I took notice. Then I heard one of the singles from the album called “I Took Your Picture,” and I was hooked. Even though my roots are in metal, I love atmospheric pop with haunting vocals, and this was exactly that.

The show was phenomenal. The songs were there, the lights, the mystique—it was a proper showcase for the brilliance on the new record. The set pulled heavily from Offering as it should, but they didn’t skimp on songs from the other two records. My only complaint was that half of the duo, Brian Oblivion, was draped in darkness for almost the entire show. It almost seemed that the duo were separating themselves on purpose until near the end of the set when Oblivion joined Madeline at the front of the stage on guitar and harmonies.

Funny enough, I read a review of Offering from Pitchfork. Here’s a major influencer giving a mediocre review to a band that only a few years ago they praised. I’m all about being honest with reviews, but as I read Pitchfork’s take on the last two records, they were all written by three different people. I wonder what the person who wrote the original review would have thought about the new record. Would they have criticized the band for moving in a new direction? Is it fair to come down on an artist for evolving? I mean, they can’t possibly make the same exact record over and over again.

Either way, I fucking love this band, and this record and the live show put it over the top for me. I think I would feel the same way if I would have discovered them via any of their three records, but I think the latest is their best work by a long shot.

Check out the hi-res shots from the show in the gallery here.

This entry was posted in TVD UK. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.

  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text
  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text