Song of the Day: Cult of Youth - God's Garden

Song of the Day
01/20/2015
Jacob Webb
photo by Jeffrey Kilmer

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “God's Garden” by Cult Of Youth from the 2014 album Final Days on Sacred Bones Records.

Cult of Youth - God's Garden (MP3)

Across the past seven years, Cult of Youth has progressed from a solo bedroom project to a vital, neofolk band with both a commanding leader and equally as ferocious performances. Brooklyn-based songwriter Sean Ragon began Cult of Youth on his own, conjuring darkly pastoral songs and performances, aided by his rumbling baritone and crisp acoustic guitar playing. However, Cult of Youth only stayed in this configuration for one album, 2008's debut A Stick To Bind, A Seed To Grow, before Ragon brought in additional musicians for the band's subsequent albums, 2011's Cult of Youth and 2012's Love Will Prevail. Now consisting of Ragon, drummer Cory Flannigan, cellist Paige Flash, electric guitarist Christian Kount, and bassist Jasper McGandy, the band's fourth and latest album, 2014's Final Days, is their most vivid outing to date, built with more fury and pace than any of the band's previous work. "God's Garden" exemplifies the band's newfound drive, moving at a relentless speed with Ragon barking out lyrics like a snarling, shirt-wearing Henry Rollins. Final Days switches out Love Will Prevail's spacious production style for a more thick, direct approach, which pushes the band's taught rhythm section to the forefront, matching the intensity of Ragon's vocal performance. Cult Of Youth sound like they're sprinting towards the end of the world on "God's Garden", and they ride that cataclysmic tempo for three of the most riveting minutes they've put to tape yet.

Cult of Youth play at The Highline this Thursday, January 22nd. Get tickets and more info on that 21+ show here. They'll also be live on KEXP the same day at 1PM. Keep up with the band at their website and Facebook, and below, watch the video for the 2012 track "Man and Man's Ruin".

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