Offering by Cults, Album Review

Album art for Offering by Cults

“Offering” is the third studio album by American indie pop band Cults, released on October 6, 2017. It’s also the name of the first track. Here is the list of tracks on the album:

  1. Offering
  2. I Took Your Picture
  3. With My Eyes Closed
  4. Recovery
  5. Right Words
  6. Good Religion
  7. Natural State
  8. Nothing Is Written
  9. Talk in Circles
  10. Clear from Far Away
  11. Gilded Lily

Cults started as a duo consisting of Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion in 2010. In the early days, their approach to recording music was more DIY, with a focus on home recording and using affordable, easily accessible equipment. Brian and Madeline used to be together, but now they say they’re just friends.

For their self-titled debut album, released in 2011, Cults recorded the music primarily in their apartment using GarageBand, which is an entry-level Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) by Apple. This approach allowed them to experiment and create their unique blend of lo-fi indie pop, with a mysterious and atmospheric sound.

Over time, as the band gained popularity and resources, their recording process has evolved. With their second album, “Static,” released in 2013, the band worked with producers Shane Stoneback and Ben Allen, who helped them refine their sound and production quality. The album showcased a more polished and professional sound compared to their debut.

For their third album, “Offering,” Cults continued to mature and evolve their sound, incorporating a more upbeat and optimistic tone. They worked with Shane Stoneback again, but this time Brian Oblivion took on a more significant role in production. The band experimented with more sophisticated arrangements and instrumentation, including the use of vintage synthesizers and other analog equipment.

“Offering” received positive reviews from critics. Many praised the band’s evolution in sound and songwriting, noting a more mature and polished approach compared to their previous works. The album showcases a blend of dreamy synths, catchy melodies, and strong vocal performances from lead singer Madeline Follin.

While some critics appreciated the more upbeat and optimistic tone of the album, others felt that the band’s signature darker and mysterious vibe was somewhat lost in the process. Despite these differing opinions, “Offering” was generally well-received and viewed as a strong addition to Cults’ discography.

In an interview with Amadeus, the pop duo Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin discuss how they approached their 2013 album Static, and how they didn’t do that this time around for Offering. It’s worth a read. Indy Week also talked to Cults about their evolving approach to creating glossy indie pop tunes.

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