Today English post-punks-turned-hard-rock-legends The Cult announced their 11th studio album, Under The Midnight Sun, set to drop on October 7th, courtesy of Black Hill Records. The album has co-founders Ian Astbury (vocals) and Billy Duffy (guitar) joining producer Tom Dalgety — known for his work with Pixies, Ghost, and Royal Blood – for what the band consider to be their most esoteric and mystical release yet. The album was inspired by Astbury’s memories of The Cult’s appearance at the Provinssirock festival in Finland, where during the summer the sun doesn’t go down north of the Arctic Circle. “It’s three in the morning, the sun’s up, and there’s all these beautiful people in this halcyon moment,” said Astbury of the recollection. This memory proved to be especially inspirational for Astbury as lockdown ended and he and the band could finally join together and work in person for the first time in over a year.
In celebration of their first new material since 2016’s Hidden City, The Cult are kicking off a 16-date North American tour tomorrow night in St. Paul and will find themselves playing our very own Metropolitan Opera House on Friday, July 22nd. To complete the evening, the band are bringing along psychedelic garage rockers Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and atmospheric synth-popper Zola Jesus as support, whose music and live performances are just as triumphantly moody as the work that made Astbury and Duffy icons. Have a listen to “Give Me Mercy,” the first single off of Under The Midnight Sun, in addition to these five LPs, that will surely get you in the mood for The Cult, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and Zola Jesus’s night at the opera.
- The Cult – Electric (1987)
Although the story goes that The Cult’s third full-length and sonically sleaziest release notoriously had mega-producer Rick Rubin attempting to get the band to emulate the heaviest hitters of ‘70s hard rock, the particular slither of these songs did a better job of establishing the band as an arena-rock-ready version of The Doors, something no other major act of the era ever came close to touching.
- Zola Jesus – Taiga (2014)
Zola Jesus’s fourth record is the postmodern singer/songwriter’s most concerted effort to make a pop album, allegedly even taking inspiration from Rihanna for her vocals. However, when that R&B swagger is combined with the artist’s penchant for avant-garde classical compositions and strange and sensuous synths, it makes for a dance party fit for goth warriors of the highest order.
- The Cult – Love (1985)
The Cult’s second LP and breakthrough album was the last to showcase their own goth rock roots, and features singles “She Sells Sanctuary” and “Rain,” which showed the world of rock radio and music television (literal and otherwise) that they certainly had something different to offer than all of the other leather, denim, and metal-clad acts of the era.
- Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – B.R.M.C. (2001)
Of all of the brilliant psych-tinged, slightly-punky, more-than-slightly-shoegazey alt rock albums coming from bands surely mourning the end of Brit Pop around the turn of the century, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s first LP is certainly the best. It’s also worth noting that fourth single “Whatever Happened to My Rock ‘n’ Roll (Punk Song)” is the greatest Rock N’ Roll anthem to come out of the aughts.
- The Cult – Sonic Temple (1989)
Having recently celebrated a 30th anniversary prior to the pandemic (complete with a 5-CD reissue), The Cult’s most successful album seems to remain the favorite of both fans and band (Recent setlists have included more than half of the LP.) Although the first album produced by Bob Rock (who would go on to produce the majority of the band’s work to follow) originally polarized listeners with its accessibility, for the past five decades its songs have highlighted nearly every one of the band’s performances.
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