Since their forlorn self-titled 2011 debut, New York City duo Cults have wrestled with the binary nature of love at the heart of their style of ’60s girl-group pop. There’s no light without dark, there’s no crush without crushing disappointment. That dual-sided approach continues apace on “Static,” with Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion leaning into the skidding curve of a relationship running off the road, even if one half doesn’t realize it yet. “You and me, always forever, we can stay alone together,” Follin sings on “Always Forever.” They break from the hangdog balladry on “High Road,” more of a beat-driven number, where the cynicism of doomed love is pushed upfront. The title track takes a stab at grandeur, with careening strings, galloping percussion, and a widely swinging parabola of a chorus vocal line. “I wonder how you sleep at night,” she asks. It’s the love-struck youth of their typical songs striking out against the disappointment, and, like the album itself, coming out on top. (Out Tuesday).
ESSENTIAL “Always Forever”
Cults play the Sinclair on Oct. 22.