It’s often said that the most subversive pop music is that which wraps sinister tales within a sugar-coated shell. If so, then it’s hard to imagine a band pushing that manifesto further than Cults.
Rather than wait until they'd 'mastered' their art, Cults decided to release their debut EP straight away. “You can suck the life out of a song by making it perfect and we didn’t want to do that,” says Brian Oblivion. “We wanted everything to feel real. It wasn’t an attempt to hide beyind some ‘lo-fi aesthetic’ – it was more the best we could do.”
Cults decided their next move would be to put a full self-titled album out with a bigger label and signed to Lily Allen's imprint ITNO. On the album, a love of hip hop is evident in their use of repetition: “We wanted the melody to be the thing that breaks the music out of its monotony,” says Brian. “In that sense some of our songs aren’t far off from early Wu Tang stuff where they’d sample soul records.”
“A lot of our songs are about what we’re going through right now – the fear of growing up and facing adult responsibility,” says Brian. “And in a way that fear is what makes people join cults in the first place – wanting to escape competition and success and be a part of something bigger, communal. We also want to live our own lives with our own schedules and expectations, so in a way this band has become our own cult.”