Published May 05, 2016Little Scream's new album, Cult Following, effectively pursues several different musical threads, including upbeat, danceable pop, as on first single, "Love is a Weapon," and spiritually tinged tracks like "Evan." This genre variety is grounded in full, satisfying synth sounds and guitar riffs that variously recall work by Animal Collective, St. Vincent, Arcade Fire and Tame Impala.
Laurel Sprengelmeyer's voice is versatile, exploring lower ranges in "Wreckage" and floating ethereally through "Silent Moon" and closer "Goodbye Every Body," but Cult Following flows very well, as tracks transition pleasantly between dynamics and genres. She's invited the likes of Sufjan Stevens, Owen Pallett and Sharon Van Etten to guest on songs here, but none of them overshadow Sprengelmeyer's musical gravity, which centres Little Scream.
Thematically, Cult Following explores the charms and danger of magnetic figures. On "Evan," Sprengelmeyer describes how "worlds are broken" by the titular figure, and though he holds her captive, she still wants to "be here in (his) prayers," while "Someone Will Notice" deals with powerful doubt; the line "What if my best memories are dreams?" has a great melody, and the song sounds something like modernized anthemic '80s rock, bringing the album to a powerful climax before it winds down in a dreamlike fashion that mirrors its opening.
Cult Following manages to be danceable, fun and impactful, all in a tight 45 minutes. (Dine Alone)