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Feel the buzz: Cults set to play Buffalo

Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin play Buffalo on Monday. No word on the bird.

blog by Ben Kirst  • 

Originally booked to play Mohawk Place before popular demand forced relocation to the decidedly more-spacious Town Ballroom (681 Main St., Buffalo), Cults will arrive in Buffalo for an 8 p.m. show on Monday. Spectrals and Mrs. Magician will also be on the bill for this 16-and-over show.

Cults are part of an ongoing movement that combines early 1960s pop influences—girl-group stuff and maybe even hints of old-school country music in many cases, and in the case of Cults, Diana Ross and The Supremes in particular—with crackling post-punk. In the case of Cults, the music reflects an almost Gothic aesthetic that was often present in those old pop songs, whose sugary-sweet sounds belied their stories of car crashes, dead teenagers and broken hearts.

Cults is a New York City duo consisting of vocalist Madeline Follin and guitarist Brian Oblivion. They met at The New School, a progressive Gotham university, in 2010 and created a healthy amount of online chatter when they posted a self-titled, three-song EP on Bandcamp about a year ago.

“Most of the songs were just about what I was going through at the time,” Follin recently told The San Francisco Chronicle. “Maybe it was paranoia, but it was my last year of college when we first started writing songs, and you’d visit your family at home—we were both studying film—and it was, ‘What are you going to do with that?’ And it would be, ‘I don’t know!’ It’s the anxiety of growing up and people telling you you have to make decisions about the rest of your life.”


Cults has earned the love of the indie intelligensia, earning rave reviews from hot sources like Pitchfork (covering a Leonard Cohen fave never hurts). Cults broke into the late-night scene with an appearance on The Jimmy Fallon Show in January.

The band is currently touring in support of its 12-song album—also titled Cults—and its latest single, “You Know What I Mean.” Oblivion notes that Cults is trying to create a more mature, dance-friendly sound as the duo progresses.

“We’re trying to create a dance record but without the dance beat,” he told The National Post this week. “Like you put on a James Brown record and you immediately start dancing. That kind of dancing doesn’t exist anymore. It’s all just fist pumping, four on the floor bulls–t. I feel like it’s time for rock ’n’ roll to step up and do something fresh in a more interesting way than Pauly D does.”

TAGGED: concerts, cults, indie rock, preview, town ballroom

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