The Cult made their triumphant return with the release of their new album Under The Midnight Sun last Friday, with Mojo magazine claiming “Rock’s unquenchable melodramatists have the fire in their eyes still – [investing] those primal energies with the wisdom of age, creating something fresh and powerful… Which is surely what a great Cult album is all about.”
To celebrate the album’s release the band finished up their most recent tour by playing a surprise sold out record-release show at The Roxy in Los Angeles on October 7th, followed by their headlining set at The Greek Theatre on October 9. The Cult return to the road next month with more US shows – tickets are available here.
When the sun just wouldn’t leave the sky one evening in Finland, Ian Astbury took notice. Walking the grounds of the Provinssirock festival, Astbury found himself reveling in the surreal, almost occult moment that comes with the “midnight sun,” the summer stretch where 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,” Astbury remembers. “People are laying on the grass, making out, drinking, smoking. There were rows of flowers at the front of the stage from the performances earlier that evening. It was an incredible moment.” While reviewing archival footage of the performance, Astbury found new mysticism in that moment and imbued it into the forthcoming Under the Midnight Sun.
Leading to 2020, The Cult had been on a rolling cycle of releasing albums, touring, and recording. As the world shut down and everyone was forced to reprioritize the way they approached life and work. “When the world stopped, I had this moment to write in real time, to calculate,” says Astbury. When lockdown lifted and the group could meet to record, they teamed up with Dalgety. “I was compelled by this vision, this anomaly, this memory, of being under the midnight sun. Tom helped us bring a new musical shape and frequency to our process.”
Lyrically, Under the Midnight Sun bolsters that new musical dexterity by building out from the idyllic and surreal vision at its title. Throughout, Astbury pulls in influences from Brian Jones, Brion Gysin, William Burroughs, Buddhism, the Beats, and the Age of Aquarius, all shaded with the lingering threat of the present and the timeless Cult colour palette.
As The Cult are now returning to performing live and sharing Under the Midnight Sun, Astbury hopes that the record connects to something deep within and subconscious in their listeners—something Astbury found within himself when given the moment to look for it. “At the core of it all, music contains the vibrational frequency of how we once communicated before we could even speak,” he says. “Bird songs, animal calls, string theory, quantum physics, psychedelics. The record ultimately is about finding and uniting beauty in those strangely natural moments.”
Under The Midnight Sun track list:
- A Cut Inside
- Vendetta X
- Give Me Mercy
- Outer Heaven
- Knife Through Butterfly Heart
- Under The Midnight Sun