Last week, I put together a small playlist of mostly '80s tunes that reminded me of Halloween, but weren't the usual holiday hits. The response was great and I couldn't help but take notice of reader Alexander Tregaskis' comment:
” I really wish the definition of 'goth' didn't get tainted by the mainstream, and 'emo' trends these days.
Bauhaus, Mission UK, Alien Sex Fiend, Virgin Prunes…We need to bring that scene back. There are a few modern bands like White Rose Movement that have the right feel, though.”
Well said, Alexander. So, for those who are on a quest for new music that in some way embrace the darkness of your favorite vinyl classics, I put together the following cross-genre list of tunes. Enjoy.
Blacklist “Flight of the Demoiselles”
Recommended for fans of The Chameleons, Mission UK and The Cult
Part of New York's Wierd Records family, Blacklist is single-handedly reviving the lush guitar, bombastic vocal combination made popular during the goth heyday of the mid-to-late 1980s. The band will make its West Coast debut on November 14 at Nomad as part of Wierd's weekend-long LA showcase. Check out Blacklist's latest album, Midnight of the Century.
Jessie Evans “Blood & Silver”
Recommended for fans of Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Creatures
Formerly a member of cult favorite groups Subtonix and The Vanishing, Jessie Evans moved to Berlin before recording her debut solo album Is It Fire? If the percussive sound gives you flashbacks of Siouxsie and the Banshees B-sides and Creatures albums, it might be because Evans worked with drummer Budgie, in addition to Toby Dammit (Swans) and Thomas Stern (Einsturzende Neubauten) on the collection.
Fever Ray “When I Grow Up”
Recommended for fans of Fad Gadget, The Normal and Skinny Puppy
Fever Ray is the solo project of The Knife's Karin Dreijer Andersson and it's as much a must-own for Mute Records connoisseurs as it is for fans of frightening, Skinny Puppy-styled electronics. Like Fad Gadget and Skinny Puppy, Fever Ray also knows how to turn a concert into a weird and wonderful visual trip. Check out our coverage of her gig at LA's Henry Fonda Theater.
Twisted Wires “One Night at the Raw Deal”
Recommended for fans of This Mortal Coil, Cocteau Twins, Modern English
Having only formed earlier this year, Twisted Wires has quickly become the underground band to watch. Their single “One Night at the Raw Deal,” out on super hip label Italians Do It Better, is the spookiest dance track I've heard this year and the band's recent gig at M/R/X-Wolfpak was one of the highlights of last summer.
Antony and the Johnsons “Epilepsy is Dancing”
Antony and the Johnsons
Recommended for fans of Current 93 and Marc Almond
Chances are strong that you've heard Antony and the Johnsons before, but if you haven't, you should. In addition to his main project, Antony has collaborated with Current 93 and performed with Marc Almond. He also possesses the most heavenly voice laid to disc since Jimmy Somerville.
Rainbow Arabia “Haunted Hall”
Recommended for fans of The Creatures, Nina Hagen and Dead Can Dance
LA-based duo Rainbow Arabia mixes tweaked-out synths with world music-inspired percussion and shrieking vocals for an unusual sound that at times recalls the more rhythmically-intense bands of the goth era.
IAMX with Imogen Heap “My Secret Friend”
Recommended for fans of Peter Murphy and Soft Cell
The brainchild of Sneaker Pimps founder Chris Corner, IAMX's electronic cabaret revels in drama. Like Marc Almond's work with Soft Cell, Corner delves into the seedy and lonely sides of city life with IAMX and like Peter Murphy, part of his allure is the way he can command the stage both with his voice and swagger.
The Secret Society of the Sonic Six “Por Fin”
The Secret Society of the Sonic Six
Recommended for fans of Soft Cell, Virgin Prunes, Fad Gadget, Visage
Having emerged from LA's electro scene earlier this decade, The Secret Society of the Sonic Six draws heavily from the depths of early '80s electronic releases. They also make cool videos and release 7″ singles.
Kokusyoku Sumire “Circus No Uma”
Recommended for fans of Die Form, Attrition, Nina Hagen
For those who love the operatic vocals found in Nina Hagen's work as well as bands like Die Form and Attrition, Kokusyoku Sumire is the group for you. The Japanese duo, comprised of singer Yuka and violinist Sachi, perform a mix of traditional and original pieces, infusing their work with references to fairy tales.
Unextraordinary Gentlemen “Open Arms, Empty Air” (Live)
Recommended for fans of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Front 242 and Visage
Often associated with steampunk and neo-Victorian events, LA's Unextraordinary Gentlemen combine the dark, twisted tales you might expect to find on a Nick Cave album with a violin-tinged synthpop sensibility.
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