Cults

Like skinny jeans and ironic mustaches, 1960s girl-group pop has become an inescapable hipster totem: every week, it seems, the bohemian corners of Brooklyn and Los Angeles disgorge more Phil Spector-worshipping indie rockers. Enter Cults, aka Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion, Californians-turned-New Yorkers who take the usual musical ingredients (vintage R&B chord progressions, reverb-laced girl-vocals) and add psychedelic clamor, guitar fuzz, and a booming low end. Cults are excellent songcrafters, expert at boosting drama with dynamics and unexpected sounds. But what sets their music apart is feeling: the mood of wistful romance that hovers over the songs, the idea that love is an insoluble mystery. "Tell me what's wrong with my brain," Follin pleads in the gorgeous "You Know What I Mean," "Cause I seem to have lost it."

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