Saturday 20 January 2018

REVIEWS: 'Cults' by John Meagher

John Meagher

John Meagher

Partners in music and in life, the Brooklyn-based Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin have delivered a hook-laden debut that's unashamedly retro-leaning.

The pair are in thrall to '60s girl groups, a Spectoresque 'widescreen' sound and the sort of twee-pop beloved of Belle and Sebastian. The result is a strong collection of songs, every bit the equal of last year's favourites Best Coast, who share much the same influences.

Follin is the star here -- her vocals are sweet, but rarely cloying. Her delivery helps elevate You Know What I Mean way beyond pastiche, for instance, and its verse melody is lifted from the Supremes' Where Did Our Love Go?

A single, Abducted, is harmonic West Coast pop par excellence -- the sort of number to excite both the hipster and the casual music fan -- while Go Outside, the duo's initial calling card, remains a gloriously sweet sing-along, even if you'll feel you've OD'd on serotonin after several listens.

Samples -- including snatched words from Jonestown cult leader Jim Jones -- are peppered throughout this impressively produced collection and they add to, rather than detract from, the overall feel of a fine debut.

Burn it: Abducted; Bumper; You Know What I Mean

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