Cults (band)

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Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion of Cults
Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion of Cults
Background information
OriginManhattan, New York, United States
GenresIndie pop, indie rock, synth-pop, dream pop
Years active2010–present
LabelsIn the Name Of, Columbia, Sinderlyn
MembersBrian Oblivion
Madeline Follin

Cults is an American indie pop band formed in New York City in 2010. The band first came to prominence when they posted a three-song EP, Cults 7", on their Bandcamp page.[1] They are signed to Sony and In the Name Of, a record label that was set up by British singer Lily Allen.


Madeline Follin, 2014, Munich

Cults formed in 2010 while guitarist Brian Oblivion and singer Madeline Follin, both from San Diego, were students in New York City. Oblivion went to NYU to study documentary cinema, Follin went to The New School.[1] Madeline had previously recorded with punk band Youth Gone Mad on the album, Touching Cloth. Cults released an EP on Forrest Family Records, Cults 7", with the track "Go Outside" recorded by Paul Kostabi at Thunderdome Studios,[2] named "Best New Music" by Pitchfork Media.[3] They toured supporting the Richie Follin's Band with overlapping members for six months before signing to ITNO/Sony. Their song "Go Outside" had a video made for it which starred Emma Roberts and Dave Franco. Another video featured the band inter-cut with footage of Jim Jones and Jonestown.[4]

Their self-titled debut album, Cults, was released on June 7, 2011, by Columbia Records imprint In the Name Of run by Lily Allen.[5] The album received generally positive reviews,[6][7] and a second "Best New Music" from Pitchfork was earned for the track "Abducted".[8]

In 2011 Cults collaborated with the group Superhuman Happiness on a version of the track "Um Canto De Afoxé para o Bloco Do Ilê" for the Red Hot Organisation's most recent charity album Red Hot+Rio 2. The album is a follow-up to the 1996 Red Hot + Rio. Proceeds from sales will be donated to raise awareness and money to fight AIDS/HIV and related health and social issues. The band was chosen to perform at the ATP I'll Be Your Mirror festival curated by ATP & Portishead in September 2011 in Asbury Park, New Jersey,[9] and also by Battles to perform at the ATP Nightmare Before Christmas festival that they co-curate in December 2011 in Minehead, England.[10]

In early 2012 Cults played the Australasian music festival Laneways. In an interview with[11] they said people could expect a more "aggressive sound" with a lot of changes being made to songs as a five-piece band.

In an interview with the magazine Coup De Main,[12] Madeline Follin was quoted saying that "You Know What I Mean" is her favorite song on their self-titled debut album.

In 2013 they were featured alongside Amber Coffman on J. Cole's Born Sinner album which peaked at number 1 on the Billboard 200. The song later peaked at number 96 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Brian Oblivion, 2014, Munich

Also in 2013, the band recorded their second album, Static, in the aftermath of the duo's breakup. Reviews were generally favorable.

In 2016 Madeline Follin collaborated with her brother Richie James Follin for a side-project called Follin. Their single "Roxy" was released online on February 23.

On October 6, 2017, the band released their third album, Offering.

In 2019 the song "You Know What I Mean" was featured as the outro to episode 6 of Netflix's Russian Doll.

On September 18, 2020, the band released their fourth album, Host.[13]

On August 17, 2021, the single "Always Forever" was certified gold by the RIAA.[14]

Band members[edit]

  • Brian Oblivion – vocals, guitar, keyboards, percussion
  • Madeline Follin – vocals

Live members[edit]

  • Cory Stier[15] - drums
  • Max Kamins - bass guitar
  • Nathan Aguilar – bass guitar (past)
  • Marc Deriso – drums
  • Richie Follin – guitar (past)
  • Gabriel Rodriguez – aux, guitar (past)
  • Loren Humphrey - drums




  • Cults 7 (2010)
  • Motels (2018)
  • Offering B-Sides & Remixes (2018)[22]


As featured artist[edit]

  • NDL Overture (2021) (CTI featuring Cults, Niko Omilana and Miles Away) [23]


  1. ^ a b Breihan, Tom. "Rising: Cults". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved May 30, 2011.
  2. ^ "Thunderdome Studios Recording". Archived from the original on February 15, 2012. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
  3. ^ Fitzmaurice, Larry. "The Playlist: Cults – "Go Outside"". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved May 30, 2011.
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ Breihan, Tom. "Cults Unveil New Album". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved May 30, 2011.
  6. ^ "Cults Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved June 6, 2011.
  7. ^ Tangari, Joe. "Album Reviews: Cults: Cults". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved June 6, 2011.
  8. ^ Kelly, Zach. "The Playlist: Cults – "Abducted"". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved May 30, 2011.
  9. ^ "ATP America presents I'll Be Your Mirror curated by Portishead & ATP – All Tomorrow's Parties". Retrieved August 31, 2011.
  10. ^ "Nightmare Before Christmas curated by Battles/Caribou/Les Savy Fav - All Tomorrow's Parties". Retrieved November 2, 2013.
  11. ^ "Interview with". Retrieved January 16, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "{is your friend} please read me. or I will eat you up & swallow you whole". Coup De Main Magazine. September 27, 2013. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
  13. ^ a b "Cults: Host". Pitchfork. Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  14. ^ "American single certifications – Cults – Always Forever". Recording Industry Association of America.
  15. ^ "Artists-> Cory Stier (Image)". Paiste. February 8, 2007. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
  16. ^ "Cults - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
  17. ^ "CHART LOG UK: NEW ENTRIES UPDATE : COMBINED SINGLES (200) : Chart Date: 11.06.2011". Retrieved November 2, 2013.
  18. ^ "CANOE – JAM! Music SoundScan Charts". Archived from the original on November 21, 2008. Retrieved June 21, 2011.
  19. ^ "Cults Announce New Album Static | News". Pitchfork. July 25, 2013. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
  20. ^ [2][dead link]
  21. ^ "Cults Announce New Album Offering, Share Title Track; News". SPIN Magazine. July 7, 2017. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  22. ^ "Offering B Sides & Remixes, by Cults". Retrieved October 26, 2020.
  23. ^ "NDL Overture - CTI, cults, Niko Omilana, Miles Away - Deezer". Deezer. Retrieved August 6, 2021.

External links[edit]