The single makes it clear that co-founding members of The Cult, Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy, have spent the six years since their last LP pushing their esoteric strength further.
Flanked by Duffy’s dynamic guitar riff, Astbury reaches new heights of nervous vulnerability.
Astbury comments, “I was absolutely in love with this piece of music that Billy had written, and it fit perfectly with the thoughts I had about our culture’s need to move beyond assumptions of duality. We need a new language because words cannot express where we are going.
Duffy says, “‘Give Me Mercy’ has all the hallmarks of the new cult classic to my ears…fresh yet familiar.”
“It’s three in the morning, the sun is rising, and there are all these beautiful people in this peaceful moment,” Astbury remembers. “People are laying on the grass, kissing, drinking, smoking. There were rows of flowers in the front of the stage from the performances earlier in the evening. It was an amazing moment.” Examining archival footage of the performance, Astbury found a new mysticism in this moment and imbued it into the next. Under the midnight sun.
Until 2020, The Cult had followed a continuous cycle of album releases, tours and recordings. As the world came to a standstill, everyone was forced to redefine how they approach life and work. “When the world stopped, I had this moment to write in real time, to calculate” said Asbury. When the lockdown was lifted and the band was able to reunite 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 form and a new frequency to our process.
Lyrically, Under the midnight sun reinforces this new musical dexterity by relying on the idyllic and surreal vision of its title. Throughout, Astbury draws influences from Brian Jones, Brion Gysin, William Burroughs, Buddhism, The Beats and the Age of Aquarius, all overshadowed by the lingering menace of the present and the timeless cult color palette.
As The Cult now returns to performing live and sharing Under the midnight sunAstbury hopes the record connects to something deep and subconscious in their listeners – something Astbury found within himself when he had time to search for it. “At the heart of it all, music contains the vibrational frequency of how we communicated before we could even speak,” he says. “Bird songs, animal calls, string theory, quantum physics, psychedelics. The record is ultimately about finding and uniting the beauty in these eerily natural moments.
Following their UK arena tour alongside Alice Cooper in May 2022, The Cult comes alive on the road as they embark on a North American tour in July. Dates begin in St. Paul, MN and end July 30 in Orillia, ON. The tour includes stops in Chicago, New York, and Detroit. Tickets are on sale here.