Cults provides compelling, timeless indie rock music. Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin created the band after meeting each other at her brother's rock show in San Diego. A low-key project soon turned into something much bigger. They garnered attention after posting their three-song EP, Cults 7" on their BandCamp page, which was made up of the songs "Go Outside," "Most Wanted," and "The Curse." They were subsequently signed and have released three studio albums since 2011; Cults, Static, and earlier this month, Offering.
The most recent album, Offering, features the singles "I Took Your Picture" and "Right Words." Their colorful sound evokes a cool nostalgia yet bright modernity. Their lyrics are simplistic yet dynamic, complete with dreamy melodies and instrumentals. They are busy on their current tour, hitting numerous cities across the country. So, we were thrilled they could stop by at Baeble HQ and perform for us.
our record cycles with a Baeble session. I remember that was, like, our first thing we did on the Static tour, so... - It's good to start off this... - ...record cycle. - We have a thing that we call PTD, like, post-tour depression. Because you get so used to not only, like, doing something exciting, but also having, like, your schedule laid out for you. It's like being in the army, like, "0800, meet at here," this, this, this, and then you get home and there's nobody telling you what to do, and there's no one talking to you, and you just go like... - I feel like every time we get home from tour, everybody is like, "Should we go to the bar?" - Yeah. But we're ready to surrender again. - I'm ready to let go. I took your picture I felt my heartbeat slow down It's hard to miss ya 'Cause you're the one thing movin' in the background I bite my tongue Try to work through the thick of it My lips are numb I'm not sure if my teeth'll fit I've got this problem and I've tried to tell you I watch the photographs fadin' away Close to someone's reject Long play is the enemy Close to someone's reject Hope it's not the end of me Tinge of blue Close to someone's reject Till the end Long play is the enemy Left our hearts Close to someone's reject With regret, I'm learnin' I took your picture I saw the light shine on you But I can't fix it Think I knew We know it's all that we do I'm runnin' out of ways to get to the truth of it Our time is nothin' but it slips through our fingertips I saw it comin' and I tried to tell you I took the photograph and threw it away Close to someone's reject Long play is the enemy Close to someone's reject Hope it's not the end of me Close to someone's reject Long play is the enemy Close to someone's reject... Tinge of blue Close to someone's reject Till the end Long play is the enemy Left our hearts Close to someone's reject With regret, I'm learnin' Tinge of blue Close to someone's reject Till the end Long play is the enemy Left our hearts Close to someone's reject With regret, I'm learnin' - Naming the album Offering has, like, a…it has a lot of overtones for us with different stuff, but it was, like, kind of something we just like... "Should we name it that?" You know? - Yeah, there wasn't like… We just kind of all knew that it was going to be called Offering. Like, we were standing outside one day and we're like, "What are we going to call it?" - Yeah. - Somebody was like, "Offering," and then the three of us were like, "That's exactly what I was thinking. " - I think it's brought out, like, more of our voice, you know? I feel like before, when we were writing songs, it was very, like, kind of third person. Like, "Oh," like, "This is like an art project, and we're going to make this song that sounds like this Lesley Gore song, or something. " And then, taking some time and working on the album kind of let us think like, "Well, what are you…" Like, I remember looking at Madeline and being like, "Well, what are you into?" You know? Like, we just sit around and listen to music for, like, the first time. And I think a lot of that time was like a musical kind of education, because when you're playing music all the time, you don't necessarily want to listen to it. - Yeah. We did an interview recently...yesterday. And they asked what our hobbies were outside of music, and we we're both like,"Oh, we just kind of work on getting better at music. " - I wish I, like, rode horses, or fenced, or something, but no. No, I can't see, not yet But it's so real to me Promise to try to forget If you're not here with me Up to my eyes in the dust And would you shed a tear for me? Know that you're tryin', yes But you're not saving anything Hangin' off the end of a rope But I can make you an offering Such a terrifying joke But I can make you an offering Know that this might be a test But it's so real to me So hard to keep you impressed When you're not clear with me Secrets kept close to your chest Well, that's not how it has to be Now that you used to impress And you ignore most everything Hangin' off the end of a rope But I can make you an offering Such a terrifying joke But I can make you an offering The one who first gave you The one that you know The one who forgave you Who showed you love Hangin' off the end of a rope But I can make you an offering Such a terrifying joke But I can make you an offering - That song was like...we were working on the track listing and we realized, like, "Oh, we have time. We can record a couple of other songs. " And we had made that, like, a little eight-bar beat of that and I was like, "Well, let me see what I got," and we started digging through the computer and we played that. And our producer…that's why we love working with him, because he's, like, got a fresh set of ears, and he just…well - He's like, "What have we been doing? Why aren't we working on this?" And we're like, "I don't know. We made that, like, a year ago, you know? Like, we forgot about it," and then we just finished the whole song in, like, a matter of hours. Yeah, I think it's the most… I don't know, the most… - Authentic. - …authentic, but also, you know, most musically sort of expansive thing that we've done so far. It's probably the most personal thing, like I was saying, in the way that it's, you know, it wasn't something we were trying to make just, like, to see if we could. It was just something that we wanted to make. We wanted every song to kind of feel like its own little universe, and a lot of these songs have, like, seven parts in every song, and that's new for us. I mean, "Good Religion," that's like our... I don't know, futuristic take on, like, a Beach Boys, Paul McCartney vibe. You know, I remember that John Lennon once made fun of Paul McCartney by calling... He's like, "Oh," like, "Maxwell's Silver Hammer," or something. "There's another one of Paul's granny songs. " We were kind of trying to make, like, a granny song, and mixed with, like, the Carpenters or something, but also with, like… - That's for all the grandmas out there. Lead and I'll follow you down to the bottom Without lookin' back to where we started in Too long we spent searching Who found it? What's working? Without ever bein' told the truth of it I heard you found a good religion That final piece that you've been missin' I lay there, weak and have no vision I hope you've found a good religion Slowly I'll stumble A creature of habit But I won't care about the things I used to know Try to remember You kept it, you have it But most of the time, you know You're worse for it I heard you found a good religion That final piece that you've been missin' I lay there, weak and have no vision I hope you've found a good religion I heard you found a good religion That final piece that you've been missin' I lay there, weak and have no vision I hope you've found a good religion
Cults' twinkling experimental pop arrived in a shroud of mystery early in 2010, when the group posted three songs on its Bandcamp page. One of those songs was "Go Outside," which mixed dream pop haze with girl group harmonies (and, fittingly, samples of Jonestown leader Jim Jones) and earned the band acclaim from publications including Pitchfork and NME. Eventually, Cults' core duo was revealed as guitarist Brian Oblivion and vocalist Madeline Follin, who were also a couple. Later in 2010, Cults released Go Outside as a single on Forest Family Records and performed shows with bands including Best Coast. Early in 2011, the group made its U.K. debut and signed to Columbia Records; Cults' self-titled album, which featured production by Shane Stoneback, arrived in the middle of that year.
Their sunny pop tunes were well received by critics and fans alike and they went on to tour heavily across America and Europe. The duo ended their relationship in the wake of their debut, yet continued to progress with the band. Together they wrote material during 2012 for their second album, which focused on their split and the pressures of growing up. The result was their sophomore record, Static, which arrived in October 2013.