Foundations: Cults

Delving into their musical roots...

The past decade has seen Cults shift in evolve in dramatic ways.

Curious songwriting with left-field touches, their avant pop formula is in a continual state of reinvention.

The duo – Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin – often draw from the same well, however, and are able to reinterpret these tropes in staggeringly inventive ways.

New album 'Host' is out on September 11th, and it underlines just how far Cults have come in their 10 year span.

Clash spoke to Cults about their Foundations, the roots of their relationship in music.

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Fiona Apple – 'Extraordinary Machine'

This album split our heads open and left them that way.

Fiona Apple is the musician we think about whenever someone says the weird word “incomparable.” You can’t even be influenced by Fiona Apple. You could work as hard as you want but you’ll never end up in orbit. 

Artists like her remind us what music can be.

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The Sapphires – 'Oh So Soon'

This was one of five or so songs that inspired the existence of our band. We went on a road trip and realized we both had a special place in our hearts for the haunted side of girl group music.

Neither of us had met anyone else who sought out this kind of stuff. We spent hours digging through our respective CD books unknowingly building the bedrock of what might still be considered our “sound.”

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Air – 'Talkie Walkie'

This is an amazing album that most people love and we love it too! It operates in such a strange space. It’s relaxing, but also scary and sometimes fun? All at the same time? It feels like a portal.

Also sonically, this record is just gorgeous. Sometimes when mixing or arranging we like to listen to other music to get some perspective. We don’t do that with this record. Its gravity is too strong.

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David Axelrod – 'Songs Of Experience'

Speaking of arrangements, Axelrod is the king of arrangements.

We worked with some live orchestral musicians on this album and damn it is really hard! Finding the right instrument for each part, and working on how to notate the melody just the way you imagine it is a crazy art.

'Songs Of Experience' doesn’t just command one of the most diverse chamber pop ensembles of its era, it grooves with them! That's crazy.

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The Prodigy – 'Firestarter'

This song probably gets played in our van the most. No matter how chill we try to be in our musical and personal lives, we’ve had to accept that we’re really just not that chill. And we love loops. And big drums. This song rules.

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Cults new album 'Host' is out on September 11th.

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