It's hard to say anything about Guards without eventually bringing up Cults, another band from Brooklyn whose upbeat melodic pop draws heavy influence from the '60s. The two groups share more than just stylistic influences, though: Singer and bandleader Richie Follin is the brother of Madeline Follin, Cults' lead singer. In fact, a handful of the songs Richie Follin has released with Guards began their lives as Cults tunes.
Though the two bands have much in common, it's interesting to hear two siblings' different interpretations of a similar sound. Guards' songs are more bare and stripped-down than the majority of Cults' work. While the two groups' songwriting styles do draw from the same well, Cults' songs have a more polished, shimmering veneer, complete with brightly twinkling synths. Guards' songs tend not to be so lushly adorned, with a hazier and more languid feel that adheres more closely to the band's source material. While Cults' members may be diehard apostles of bright '60s pop, Guards' music carries that sound forward through time.
In this edition of World Cafe: Next, hear two songs from Guards' forthcoming album, In Guards We Trust.