Cults – Static

Two years after releasing their self titled album, indie pop band Cults are back again with Static. Known for their 60’s pop-tinged tunes, the duo experiment with much darker tones as they explore the highs and lows of the ending of their four year relationship.

What would be an obstacle for most bands certainly isn’t the case with Cults as they’ve put together a record that effectively portrays their growth as artists as well as individuals. Being a relatively new band, they have also proved to be quite fearless when it comes to experimenting with their sound. The first single I Can Hardly Make You Mine was released in August and expresses the trials and tribulations of unrequited love. Accompanied by a fast paced and melodious beat, they still maintained their signature sound that fans love whilst conveying a topic that most people could deem relatable.

High Road, the second single of the album, proved to show a definite contrast to their usual sound. Incorporating cinematic and orchestral elements, the song conveys darker undertones that are almost haunting yet atmospheric at the same time. Follin’s vocals add a youthful touch though which leaves it sounding much less gloomy than it could be. So Far and We’ve Got It also integrate similar elements. Though the contexts of both songs vary, a somewhat Western film vibe is well apparent adding to the recurring cinematic themes present on the record.

Static also consists of a few lighter sounding tracks. I Know and TV Dream, the shortest of the album, embody a shoe gaze vibe which adds an ethereal quality to the record and act as a bit of a breather from the heavier sounds on the album. Always Forever is a reminiscent of this characteristic too. A laid back ballad, the song has Follin singing in a pitch that’s higher than usual which blends perfectly with the elegant melody of the backing instruments, contributing to the dream-like ambiance. The band also channels feelings of longing and melancholy in Shine A Light, which has the vocalist expressing desire of wanting “to keep you here forever”.

As one would expect from any post break up album, Keep Your Head Up would be the track that leaves you feeling empowered and good about yourself. With an upbeat rhythm, peppy chords and vocals that echo and reverberate throughout majority of the song, it is undeniably the catchiest number on the record. The most interesting track however would be Were Before. Follin and Oblivion perform a duet in the song, which seems to capture the essence of their situation.

The album comes to a close with No Hope, accompanied by an upbeat rhythm at first, the lyrics are anything but as Follin, joined soon after by Oblivion, sing about there being “no hope for the wicked inside my soul”. The background harmony slowly morphs into a lazy melody supported by orchestral instruments that do justice to the overall context of not only the song but also the album itself.

Through Static, Cults have been able to show that their sound and style have no limits. Despite the drastic change they experienced, their ability to work through it demonstrates how devoted they are to their music and their fans. The album is definitely worth a listen as each track has a personality of its own and will have you wondering what might come next…

by Aishani Sharma