Always Forever: Cults Charm Past and Present at The Echo

Cults took to The Echo for a weekend stint in Los Angeles, resurfacing wistful thoughts and welcomed nostalgia. All photos: Justin Bieggar, GUM

Saturday night’s full moon was heightened due to the anxious return of indie-duo, Cults, who took to The Echo for a weekend stint in Los Angeles. Time saw the release of Motels and Offering after their arrival eight years ago, as last month unveiled Offering B-Sides & Remixes, a welcoming compilation which featured three previously unreleased songs and a remix of “Recovery” by John Fryer. With help of Montreal-based singer/producer, Munya, The Echo was lit upon electrical synths, wistful thoughts, and nostalgia that seemed to nestle with the crisp night in a loving fashion.

Josianne Boivin’s digital and analog instrumentation became a sweet indie-pop introduction to the ruminations of Munya as the artist switched from keys to guitar. Eagerly sitting on a throne of gratitude and sporting an older version of Justin Bieber screened on her tee, Boivin’s presence saw a myriad of “thank you’s” to family, friends, and the crowd, as it was the artist’s first time performing in Los Angeles, stating as a point of comparison, “I make music in my mom’s basement near Montreal, Canada….”


Despite the late start, and rather odd time slots for the night, the aroma of adored company and anticipation warmed the arrival of Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin. Accompanied by a full band, Cults kicked off the night with “Good Day” and “I Took Your Picture” as longing fans found comfort upon the start of “Abducted.” Follin shimmied around bright chimes and expansive melodic synths, which were equally brought to fruition through her signature high-pitched, silvery croon. Floating delicately from newer cuts sprinkled mid-way, Follin’s time stamp did not exist, almost as if their debut were released days prior.

Madeline Follin of Cults (Justin Bieggar, GUM)

Oblivion’s banter and chatter with the audience exposed his appearance in the crevice of the stage, peering from the red and green lights, showing appreciation for being back in Southern California. The slow burner “High Road” shifted gears towards a cooler tone of sounds and lingered deeply with contrasting vocals marrying beautifully into the final verse.

Life wouldn’t be complete without the gorgeous and hurtful throes of love and anxiety on “You Know What I Mean,” as Oblivion once again interjected into the crowd of the song’s intent. Gentle doo-wop licks breezed the crowd into a hypnotic trance, once again not appeasing to the laws of time. Follin’s usual reverbed tone became audible for brief moments of the track, “Tell me what’s wrong with my brain / ‘Cause I seemed to have lost it,” inching towards the explosive chorus and tantalizing octave that Follin gripped tightly.

Madeline Follin of Cults (Justin Bieggar, GUM)

Leaving on ethereal notes of crushing crescendos, the set’s ending saw a delicate hum before the two slotted encore. Airy chimes eased the first chords of “Go Outside” to radiate alongside the intimate venue and welcomed Oblivion and Follin back on stage. Surface waves connected every fan to another before returning back to Follin’s happy-go-lucky charm, as “Always Forever” revisited 60’s pop shuffles and mutual adoration that initially started their set.

Minimal structures and emotive ambiguity, filtered through an indie-pop viewfinder, captured an array of feelings that took to their first strides almost a decade ago; somewhat being grateful for the duo’s dropout of film school. Back around to these very fibers, second rounds of falling in love were sprinkled from past to present by the New York duo.


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Good day

Took Picture



Talk in Circles

Shines a Light

Good Religion

Rave On


High Road

Hope You Found What You’ve Been Missing

Right Words

Total Control

You Know What I Mean


Go Outside

Always Forever

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