The Cult announce first album in six years, Under the Midnight Sun

Billy Duffy of The Cult performing live
(Image credit: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)

The Cult have announced that their first album in six years will be titled Under the Midnight Sun, and it will arrive October 7.

To celebrate their long-awaited return, the English rock veterans have dropped the record’s tantalizing lead single, Give Me Mercy – a track that is said to be indicative of the band’s continued development over the past half-decade.

Propped up by a captivating lead melody executed by resident electric guitar titan Billy Duffy, the track is quintessential Cult, featuring the commanding vocals of founding vocalist Ian Astbury and plenty of juicy six-string action.

Of the track’s origins, Astbury explained, “I was absolutely enamored with this piece of music Billy had written, and it perfectly fit these thoughts I’d been having about our culture’s need to move past assumptions of duality. We need new language because words can’t express where we’re going.”

Give Me Mercy has all the hallmarks of the new classic Cult to my ears,” Duffy added. “Fresh yet familiar.”

Under the Midnight Sun’s conception can be traced back to an “almost occult” phenomenon experienced by Astbury during Finland’s Provinssirock Festival, wherein the sun didn’t leave the sky one evening.

“It’s three in the morning, the sun’s up, and there’s all these beautiful people in this halcyon moment,” Astbury recalled. “People are laying on the grass, making out, drinking, smoking. There were rows of flowers at the front of the stage from the performances earlier that evening. It was an incredible moment.”

After the pandemic halted their recording and touring routine, it wouldn’t be until lockdown lifted and the band could meet in the studio that work on Under the Midnight Sun started to take shape.

“When the world stopped, I had this moment to write in real time, to calculate,” Astbury commented.“I was compelled by this vision, this anomaly, this memory, of being under the midnight sun. Tom [Dalgety] helped us bring a new musical shape and frequency to our process.”

Under the Midnight Sun will be The Cult’s 10th studio album and their first since 2016’s Hidden City. It was produced by Dalgety, whose credits include Pixies, Ghost and Royal Blood.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.