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Bambi O’Hara discusses the influence of ‘cults’ and ‘religion’ in pop culture

Sydney alt-pop artist Bambi O’Hara has no interest in writing stock standard music, tackling themes of cults and sacrifice with her new track Religion.

The backbone of pop culture is so often characterised by topics that have an air of mystery to them, or themes that a vast chunk of society fears.

It was that almost “ethereal” feeling that surrounds the depiction of cults in pop culture that inspired the latest single from Bambi O’Hara, Religion.

Midsommer film
Midsommer | Credit: A24

“There is a strange fascination surrounding cults and religions. In pop culture, films like ‘Midsommar’, ‘Suspiria’, ‘Romeo + Juliet’, and ‘Valeria and her week of Wonders’ have an almost ethereal idea of a cult or religion,” Bambi explained.

They are visually stunning and ‘utopian’ like. However, within these films, underneath this idyllic facade there is always something darker, something sacrificial (whether it’s literal, or people sacrificing their prior life before becoming part of the cult).

Those romanticised depictions of religion and sacrifice are brought life by the hair-raising bridge of Bambi’s new track as she sings: “Drive fast and low, like a starship satellite/ Pray to a God, of psychedelic paradise/ Run like a dog, until your body’s paralysed/ Get what you want, my religious sacrifice”.

So why are people so obsessed with cults? Bambi offered the compelling theory that people are drawn to cults because they are shrouded in mystery, adding that there is something quite “powerful” about such a bonded group of people

Suspiria
Suspiria | Credit: Amazon Studios

“It seems that this fascination with ‘cults’ (and/or religions), has turned into inspiration for both movies and music alike.”

Endless music is written about devotion, and needing something to believe in. All of us hold some beliefs for which there is no compelling evidence.”

To celebrate the release of Religion, Bambi is playing a launch party show at Golden Age Cinema on Saturday night from 10pm. Entry is completely free, but be sure to head in early to make sure you don’t miss out.

Bambi O'Hara launch