Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Cults to bring 80s inspired sound to the High Noon Saloon

Indie duo gain inspiration largely from each other
Courtesy of the Wikimedia Commons

Cults began the tour for their latest album, Offering, in mid-October, and are eager to bring their set to Madison’s own High Noon Saloon on Wednesday.

The band, comprised of Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion, released Offering on Oct. 6 — their first album since 2013.

Gaining inspiration from a variety of musicians, including The Motels, Cocteau Twins, Pink Floyd and The Cure, the band shaped their third studio album around a more ambient pop sound reminiscent of the 80s.


“We kind of joke that our first album was kind of an early 60s vibe, our second was early 70s and this might be our 80s style jam,” Oblivion said. “Lord help us discover our 90s youth on the next one.”

After releasing albums Cults and Static in 2011 and 2013 respectively, Cults wanted to take more time to reflect after touring before releasing their third work.

The band had the chance to put more deliberate thought and care into their album, Offering, because of the longer amount of time they had to work with. The years they spent working on the album gave them more time to play with sounds and develop deeper perspectives and ideas.

ODESZA collaborates with multiple artists on latest record to create escapist listening experience

“We wrote the last two records in the back of a tour van, and when you’re living that kind of isolated lifestyle it can be difficult to find things to write about. We love touring but every day shakes out to be pretty similar so it’s easy to feel like you’re caught in a state of arrested development,” Oblivion said. “Taking a bit of a break allowed us to look around a little more, figure out who we are and what we want to share with people.”

Oblivion and Follin first met in 2009 at a show and realized they were both heading to New York City for school. From then on, they became acquaintances and realized their shared love of music.

“In early 2010 we started casually playing together once we realized we both had a major soft spot for the same kind of 60’s ‘girl groupish’ pop,” Oblivion said. “We’ve been jamming ever since!”

Their deep connections to music are a large part of what drew Oblivion and Follin together. However, they’ve had different feelings and ways of defining what their music truly is.

Over time, the constant evolution of their sound has become a point of confusion, as the pair can’t seem to agree on how to define their genre.

“We debate about this all the time. Brian says we’re a rock band but I’m not sure what that word means anymore. It kind of makes me think of weird music now,” Follin said. “I would say Pop.”

No matter the genre, Oblivion and Follin have a similar vision for their work, which guides the themes they touch on and the styles they explore. In their third album, Cults touched on some very personal themes, such as recovery and hope, which felt both relatable and deeply human.

Cults show lyrical maturation, fall short on high-energy sounds

The duo feeds off one another creatively, in a way that serves as inspiration for both of them, Oblivion said. The band credits this to their different backgrounds and musical upbringings.

“We’re always trying to bring new ideas to the table and challenge each other to push the envelope,” Oblivion said.

Oblivion recommends fans to come out, bring their friends and experience their latest album live. While only time can tell which songs off of the album will be their favorites, according to Oblivion, “Gilded Lily” and others have been enjoyable to play live.

“This will only be our second time playing Madison, we are stoked,” Oblivion said.

Cults will bring their indie-pop style to the Madison venue Oct. 25, before heading to Des Moines for their next stop of their current tour.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *