Softcult are creating anthems for the outcasts – but also building a community

Having released 3 exciting EPs since forming Softcult in 2020, the Arn-Horn twins (who you likely know from their Courage, My Love days) have managed to create some serious dynamic music that actually has something to say. Stylistically, they’re pretty diverse – with a shoegaze heavy alt-rock sound that blends the melodies and harmonies of their previous band with lyrically poignant songs that address some decidedly heavy topics.

We can’t stress just how fucking uncomfortable some of these songs are from a lyrical perspective. “Gaslight” tackles the disorientation one might feel in a relationship where the other party messes with their perception of reality, while “Gloomy Girl” addresses the paralyzing lack of motivation to even get out of bed on some days, while also discussing a “dark cloud” that can hang over your head on a daily basis. The latter especially hits if you’ve ever dealt with any kind of depression or generally lackluster feelings.

It also can’t be mentioned enough how compositionally effective Softcult’s music is. There’s a real synergy between the Arn-Horn twins from a songwriting perspective, and their influences are truly remarkable. Obvious ones include bands like Lush, My Bloody Valentine, Cocteau Twins, and the Britpop // post-punk stylings of Elastica. The latter is more evident in Softcult’s dream pop and shoegaze influences, while they’re also lyrically and aesthetically influenced by the riot grrrl movement of the ’90s. Seriously, you could imagine Softcult touring with, say, Bikini Kill or even Liz Phair.

What’s even more interesting is just how skilled Softcult are at blending ridiculously catchy and moody songs with these difficult subjects. Very few musicians are actually skilled at this sort of thing, as you’d often expect a catchy, singable song to contain a less difficult string of lyrics. It’s this darkness juxtaposed with the (relative) calm of their music that makes them really exciting, providing a unique dichotomy that will easily draw you in – but also throw you for a loop when you realize what the songs are actually about. “Someone2Me” buries the topic of particularly nasty incel behavior under a haze of shoegaze-laden dream pop, while “Drain” tackles climate change and what we can do to make the world a better place on an individual basis.

Having just released their third EP to date in the form of See You In The Dark, Softcult are definitely onto something special here. Where they go next from a musical perspective is anyone’s guess, but it’s pretty clear they’ve found their wheelhouse. And if their obvious talent is any indication, it’s also clear they won’t be running out of uncomfortable truths to tackle anytime soon.

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