Is it me or have things been getting a bit gothy lately? Sometimes it's as subtle as a Cocteau Twins reference here (Warpaint) or a guest spot from Robert Smith there (the awesome Crystal Castles collaboration, "Not In Love.") But there have also been more obvious nods to all things dark and brooding, whether done right by bands like Abe Vigoda -- who switched gears from noise punk shrieks to the synthed-up melodrama of last year's excellent Crush -- or when things go horribly wrong (that's right, She Wants Revenge, I'm referring to you!)
What's even more shocking is that there are some really good goth-leaning acts that have gotten plenty of love from more than just a few indie blogs. Could goth possibly become hip? And no, I don't mean like in a fashionable way thanks to those dumb vampire movies that I refuse to acknowledge...but in a cool way that could possibly lead to high school kids discovering Bauhaus or the Sisters Of Mercy or Nick Cave. If only...
Anyway, since I'm into making lists, here's one highlighting some of this new wave of indie goth:
Esben and The Witch
Hailing from Brighton, England, this 3-piece builds their songs out of eerie, unsettling soundscapes. To say their sound is otherworldly is a bit of an understatement. Psychedelic and haunting all at once, it's the siren song voice of Rachel Davies that is most striking.
Just like Esben and The Witch, Cold Cave is on Matador Records which apparently is the new home for goth. At this point, I wouldn't even blink an eye if tomorrow I find out that Matador will be reissuing Flesh For Lulu's classic albums (those would be Long Live The New Flesh and Big Fun City Blue Sisters Swing, by the way.) Anyway, this is one of those bands that I didn't want to like. But then I heard "Love Comes Close" and I just couldn't resist. I mean come on: it's dancey, electro-goth! It practically comes with eyeliner. Seriously, just try to resist:
Cold Cave has a new album due out on April 5th called, Cherish The Light Years. They just released its first single, "The Great Pan Is Dead" and yes, I have to say, it's downright addictive. Electro goth rock minus the cheesy Crow-like imagery. Totally worth trading an email for the song. Pick it up below or at the band's website: http://coldcave.tumblr.com/post/3096772160/the-great-pan-is-dead
Last, but certainly not least, Light Asylum. They're a recent discovery and one I honestly don't know too much about. All I do know is that singer, Shannon Funchess (who you might recognize from !!!) has got one of the most captivating voices I've heard in a while. She's got power in those pipes. Her voice reminds me of Alison Moyet...yes, that good. And honestly, this song, "Dark Allies" wouldn't seem out of place played on an industrial night maybe even followed up by some Front 242 (I'd suggest "Tragedy For You.")