An elusive boy-girl duo from Brooklyn, Cults are the latest graduates of the Best Coast school of homemade, occasionally discordant girl-group throwback pop.
Their self-titled major-label debut is bedraggled and beautiful, sinister and sad, heavy and slight, and Cults work these juxtapositions for all they’re worth. Cults want you to wonder about them, about the mystery that lies beneath their wispy, deceptively sunny songs. They rely, perhaps too heavily, on endless layers of reverb, on looped, disembodied vocals girded by what sound like innocent choruses of school kids.
It’s this vague air of creepiness that saves Cults, who would otherwise be Sleigh Bells without the sound effects. As if to underscore their point, they’ve interspersed their Up With People-style pop songs with sound bites from cult leaders like Jim Jones, who jump starts the peerlessly pleasurable “Go Outside,” one of many tracks that sound happier than they actually are.