A Sound Evolution Completes Their Holy Trinity
Offering is the third full-length album by Cults, an American indie rock and pop band. The duo, formed in 2010, consists of Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion. Similar to their previous works, Offering has a soft and soothing undertone to it. However, this album ventures closer to synthetic pop and strays further from rock. But unlike general mainstream pop, the album is not necessarily colorful and vibrant. The duo sticks to what they know, and they do it very well.
The album kicks off with “Offering.” The eponymous track is memorable, upbeat synth-pop. Follin’s vocals are hypnotic, smooth and precise. She shows her range in the chorus as the lyrics echo and float through the song. “I Took Your Picture” is less ethereal and haunting, but Follin’s vocals are layered and equally calming, even with a harsher background. Tracks such as “Talk in Circles” and “Nothing Is Written” are closer to pop, featuring heavy synth and melodies that will easily stick in listeners’ heads.
“Recovery” and “Good Religion” are two standout tracks on the album. The sound of “Recovery” is highlighted by the steady drums and piano, while the bridge is reminiscent of ‘90s soft rock. Similarly, “Good Religion” features vibrant drums while also shining a light on Follin’s vocals as she harmonizes with herself throughout the song. The duo highlights the theme of moving on in this epiphanic track through the lyrics and almost-holy instrumental sound. Eventually, the song drowns out in the background and silence takes over.
Overall, Cults does not completely change their sound for this album nor do they remain stagnant. The duo has evolved, and their sound reflects that. Offering slightly differs in sound from their previous albums, Static and Cults, but each album thrives as a whole. Offering is produced very methodically. The duo are a powerhouse when it comes to mixing — no specific instrument is overwhelmingly powerful or stands out among the rest. Some may argue that Offering lacks versatility — each track having a similar sound, but the album works as a collective being. Regardless, Cults is very self-aware. The duo knows their sound well and stays true to it in each second of every song.