ACL Music Fest 2014 Sunday Review

ACL Music Fest 2014 Sunday Review


Static (Columbia)

The Bandcamp-to-Sony success of its eponymous 2011 debut, driven by chiming pop single "Go Outside," prematurely pigeonholed Cults by launching them to the mainstream. Sophomore disc Static determines to prevent that fate, if not intentionally eschew it. Between releases, Brooklyn duo Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion split as a couple, so emotional baggage underlies the title's shoegaze weight. Behind the former's high-reaching vocals, the songs lilt an otherworldly sheen, shimmering across opener "I Know" and floating in Oblivion's heavy guitar on "I Can Hardly Make You Mine." A Beach House haze pervades throughout, even in the ethereal "Always Forever" and dark duet "Were Before." Follin works aggressively on tone and lyrics in "So Far" and "Keep Your Head Up," but doesn't lose any pop rhythm amid the sonic wash and despair, even on closer "No Hope." (3pm, Austin Ventures stage)


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Cults, ACL Fest 2014

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