New York City students Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion took respite from campus life by forming the duo Cults. After being championed by Lily Allen, their debut release in 2011 saw them quickly become one of the buzz bands around landing them a spot at Laneway Festival.

The follow up Static finds the duo entering a new phase. While sonically it doesn’t differ dramatically from their debut, personally Follin and Oblivion are no longer dating. With the tunes unsurprisingly focusing on the couples bust up, playing these songs together must be its own form of misery for the duo and yet makes for a much stronger record.

Having toured as a five piece, Cults have made a more layered and dynamic record than their debut. I Can Hardly Make You Mine has stronger and dirtier guitars than their usual bright pop fare, while Keep Your Head Up is made for fist pumping and dancing in the live setting.

Oblivion may have forged a more slick set of backing tracks for Static, but it is Follin who makes the greatest strides replacing her coy voice with a much more confident and strong approach to rise above the static.

Static is more of an exercise in heartaches than it is in hooks, which makes this a far more engaging listen.