Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday, we deliver songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “Go Outside” by Cults from their 2010 self-released 7″.
A band name like “Cults” might not lend itself to easy Google searching or a self-explanatory statement when you try to tell your friends about your new favorite band, but considering the immediate catchiness of the three songs they’ve currently made available, the moniker is more prescient than confounding. Soon everybody’s going to be loving this band. Yet the only thing listed on Cults’ Bandcamp page is that the 7″ featuring today’s Song of the Day would be available “23 December 2012″, assuming of course the world doesn’t end according to the Mayan prophesy. But as proof that the viral nature of the internet isn’t dead, the band, made up solely of two transplants from San Diego, named Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin, living together in New York and studying film, had earlier put up three songs just for their friends to enjoy and have since been slammed with requests from bloggers and other media outlets, much like our own, who absolutely need to know more about and hear more by this mysterious band. How do we know all this? Well, through sheer determination, Pitchfork managed to break inside Cults and interview Follin and Oblivion (if that is your real name, sir!). You can read the interview for yourself, but suffice it to say that while their background is interesting, Cults would rather you just enjoy their music.
And how beautiful it is. Much like yesterday’s Song of the Day, “I Ni Sogoma” by Dinosaur Feathers, there’s a nostalgic quality to the music, though the emphasis here is more on 50’s candy pop than tropicalia. Yet it shares that song’s pairing of sweet airy music with maybe not so sweet lyrics. In this case, it’s the song’s twinkling opening, which contains a quote by one of the ugliest sort of human beings, the notorious cult leader Jim Jones: “To me, death is not a fearful thing. It’s living that’s treacherous.” But the song’s lyrics themselves are much more optimistic. Follin sings to her other about getting out, seeing the sun, living her life, rather than “sleeping the light away.” And the lilting chorus effect on the vocals, which gives the song a doo-wop gospel vibe, just makes you want to stand up and sing. If you want to check out the other two songs from their self-released 7″ (soon to be out officially on Forest Family Records), head over to Cults’ Bandcamp page. Go on and drink the Kool-Aid — it’s free!