Growing up on the “wrong side of the Mersey,” James Candlish (vocals), Lee Barry (guitar), James Taaffe (bass), Tom Byron O’Shea (guitar), and James “Peach” Caul (drums) make up Cult Icon. Since forming in 2019, they’ve blessed Birkenhead, UK and beyond with their alt-rock/blues sound.
Don’t expect Hallmark charm or Hollywood farce, from orchestration to vocals, their music thrums with real-world flavor. The opening bars of “Cold Street Shade” push you along under cold city streetlights.
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The bass, pushed forward in the mix, sets up the first vocal line. “Been wasting time since the break of day.” Moody, attitude-heavy lyrics pound along with dirty, overdriven guitars. The whole ambiance paints a picture of killing time in a place where time doesn’t move.
Exactly what you’d expect from a group that grew up in the shadow of Liverpool. It’s a sonic snapshot of the city—dark, alone, nothing to do and nowhere to go.
As their debut single, it encapsulates the quasi-familiarity and alienation born from crowded places. Taste the willfully self-inflicted suffering of the city, and take it as an introduction to their soon-to-be-released EP coming in early 2021.
Stream “Cold Street Shade” below.
Ben is an advertising Madman who spends his days with words and music. When he’s not writing for his supper, he’s eating it at some of NYC’s most interesting restaurants.