Sound & Vision with Softcult

Canadian duo, Softcult, are a thoroughly self-contained pair. Embracing a DIY ethos, there is very little they do or produce which has outside interference. It is an approach that has served them well to date with their futuristic, shoegazing grunge finding them sharing bills with Incubus and Muse. But their sound contains an intimacy that will find equal footing in quiet bedrooms and packed arenas. To coincide with the release of their latest, See You In The Dark EP, we caught up with the band to find out their Sound & Vision choices:

Three favourite albums:

Cocteau Twins – Head Over Heels

We’re super inspired by their lush guitar sounds and ethereal vocals. This album in particular showcases their dynamic range as a band, from dreamy shimmery soundscapes to heavy, dark, swirling voids.

Radiohead – In Rainbows

It’s an influential album for so many bands, and for good reason. The songwriting is superb. It’s accessible from a casual listening perspective, but so intricate and highly intelligent musically. The grooves and soundscapes they create as insanely talented individuals all coming together on one album is so inspirational. Each member of Radiohead is a true artist in their own right, so getting to listen to them come together and create this musical masterpiece is really a mind-blowing experience. I can’t hype it up enough.

Nirvana – In Utero

Nirvana are so influential as musicians but also as cultural figures calling out racism, sexism and misogyny. In Utero is such a brilliantly visceral album, Nirvana tried something different stylistically after the massive success of Nevermind, and railed against what was expected of them at the time, showing a darker and less polished side of them. It was a controversial and important album for them, and it’s been very inspiring to us.

Favourite film:

The Punk Singer – Sini Anderson

This documentary really inspired us in so many ways, introducing us to feminist punk icon Kathleen Hanna and the riot grrrl movement. It’s because of this documentary that we make zines and have the aesthetic that we do, and in a way I think this documentary empowered us to write about the things we write about. It was a hugely influential film for us and opened our eyes to a lot of things within the music industry and just our society and the way we view and treat women in general.

Favourite Book:

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson

I should definitely be reading more as a practice in my spare time, but I find when I read the most is actually when we’re on tour. It helps pass the time and also quiet the mind and escape from the chaos all around, retreating into ourselves a little bit. I’ve loved this book since I was a teen, and I come back to it often. It’s dark, it’s intriguing, and most importantly the characters are so well-written I feel as if I know them personally. As a teen I was inspired by the honest portrayal of feminine rage and cunning. It’s hard, especially back when I was younger, to find female characters in novels or TV that aren’t a male ideal of what a woman should be. Stieg Larsson created an alternative with Lisbeth Slander, an introverted and brilliant computer hacker who wreaks revenge on sexually abusive men. Strangely, I looked up to Lisbeth as a teen, even though she is a fictional character.

A song that means a lot to you:

Petrol Girls – Touch Me Again

From the moment I heard this song it impacted me. The lyrics are so raw and honest, yet so clever. I admire how eloquently they speak on female body autonomy and agency, calling out bigots who are working to take that away, and also describing gender violence from a woman’s perspective in a really compelling way. I get chills listening to it to this day, and it’s a song I’ll listen to when I need to remember who I am. There is a lot of humanity in this track, and it’s righteous rage. I feel a lot of things when I listen to it.

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