Cults are a New York based indie pop band signed to Lilly Allen's In the Name Of label. Film-school students Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin originally formed the group as an outlet for their music experiment and a fortnight after posting their electro-pop breakout tune "Go Outside" to their Bandcamp site, the song landed on Pitchfork, and the duo received emails from interested record labels. Cults signed to ITNO/Columbia and Forest Family Records in 2010 and made successful appearances at South by Southwest and FYF Festivals, in support of their self-titled debut album released in May 2011.
This is a track from Cults. Brian Oblivion told Spinner UK about the song's music video: "The only real vision that we had that we kind of kept in mind when writing the song was the scene from Lost Highway by David Lynch, just the car driving at night and the road kind of bending bizarrely in front of it. We had that image in mind for the song before we even wrote it. Then we went talked to a bunch of directors and we were like, 'This is really the only idea that we have. Anything else is fair game.' We got a bunch of different takes on that, and we also said that we wanted people that had interesting faces to be in the video. We didn't want to perform. We didn't want to be in it much. And then the director that ended up doing it came back with the coolest, most exciting idea."
Oblivion explained to Spinner UK that the video runs backwards as they wanted to leave it ambiguous to the viewer who was being abducted or if, in fact, they were in danger at all. "That's what a lot of our songs are about, and that song too," he said. "It's like being in a bad situation, or having a f---ed-up life or a f---ed-up experience but then having that be preferable to just boredom and nothingness.A lot of the video is about the push-and-pull of the relationship where things could be going really horribly on one side for a while, then really horribly on the other side for a while but that's the way that life is. And if things are even keel and normal the whole time, then you're probably in more trouble than if you're arguing."
Brian Oblivion's real name is Ryan Mattos and he started his career in a Slayer tribute band before moving to hip-hop, which is when he changed his name.
At the age of twelve, Madeline Follin was offered a record deal with Recess Records after hanging out in the studio with her stepfather, Paul Kostabi's band Youth Gone Mad. However, her parents declined.