Indie sensations Cults scurry to the Tralf - VIDEOS
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • February 17, 2014 @ 10:00am
There are typical band narratives—stories that hinge on personality conflicts among band members, bands falling victim to drug use and perceived invincibility, and other divisive events that quickly turn harmony into dissonance.
The story of Cults—an indie pop duo of Brian Oblivion (no, that’s not his given name) and Madeline Follin—is more unorthodox, as the two artists spent four years in a romantic relationship, split up, but have remained committed to their musical partnership.
I don’t know about you, but I can see how working intimately with your ex would have its snags. It takes a wild strength of character to separate personal and professional, especially when the two are once blended together.
At 7 tonight, Cults and opener Mood Rings play Tralf Music Hall, 622 Main St., Buffalo. The music begins at 8 p.m.—tickets are $17 and can be purchased here or at the Tralf box office.
Dodging the peculiarity of the romance narrative for a second, the nuts and bolts of Cults are simple: Follin and Oblivion, both cinema students at New York University, started performing together in 2010, released “Cults” in 2011 before dropping sophomore disc “Static” last year.
If you’re looking for additional literature on Cults before the show, you should read an interview between Artvoice music writer Cory Perla and Oblivion, which lends personal touches to the story, and another chat between Oblivion and Michael Hamad from CTNow, who examines the musical side of “Static” here.
When Cults last came to Buffalo—in April 2012—Ben Kirst reviewed the pop set, praising Follin’s voice and Oblivion’s maturation on the guitar while damning the sound guy’s performance and a perhaps unnecessary drum-and-bass focus. [See photos from that show here, via Chuck Alaimo]
Judging from an Oblivion quote in Hamad’s preview, the duo’s decision to use percussion as a foundation hasn’t changed in the last 22 months—especially live, where a few from a pool of six different bass guitarists and drummers may add their own textures.
“Most of the songs started with a drum beat, either something we made on an mp3 or an old drum break sample, then we built them up with bass lines and strings,” Oblivion admitted to Hamad. “The guitars were kind of an afterthought.”
Here are a few videos to pique your interest:
(Header image is via Cults’ Facebook page, while internal photos are from Chuck Alaimo)