Monday, 25 April 2011

Dark and Goth-friendly music part 10: sepia and steam

Kicking off today's posts with yet another music guide, today I'm covering steampunk and various steampunk-friendly genres, many of which have their origins and fanbase firmly rooted within the Goth subculture.

Cienwen Noor
Source: We Heart It
Steampunk music is hard to define, as many of the bands whose music is associated with this genre seem at first glance to have very little in common with each other, e.g. Dr Steel's hip-hop and Industrial-tinged sci-fi audio domination vs. the darkwave synthpunk fusion of Vernian Process. These bands are largely linked by visual aesthetic and steampunk themes in lyrical content.

Steampunk bands include: The Clockwork Dolls, Abney Park (who were a Goth band before they re-defined themselves as steampunk, FYI), The Clockwork Cabaret, Unextraordinary Gentlemen, The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing, Sunday Driver, Professor Elemental, Deadly Nightshade Botanical Society, Ghostfire, China Steamengine.

Sepiachord is a relatively new term in the Goth scene, made increasingly popular by Projekt's compilation release The Sepiachord Passport (which "presents twenty(!) songs that meld dark cabaret, gypsy punk, neo-folk, twisted waltzes and circus blues with pop, rock, hip-hop, world music and the avant-garde").

The website Sepia Chord describes the genre thusly: "It is to music what 'steampunk' is to literature and cinema: something that looks back to the past to comment on the present while looking sideways at the future... As goth & glam are the bastards of David Bowie, Sepiachord is made from the genetic material sown by Tom Waits. Sepiachord is assembled like a clockwork orchestra, from such elements of music as Sinister Circus, Cabaret Macabre, Chamber Pop, Organic Goth, Celtic/Gypsy Punk, Mutant Americana, Ghost Town Country."

Musicians whose music could be termed 'sepiachord' include: Toy-Box Trio, Blackbird Orchestra, Bat Country, Tiger Lillies, Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys, Circus Contraption, Veronique Chevalier, Emperor Norton's Stationary Marching Band, Sxip Shirey, Rhubarb Whiskey.

Gloom pop
Gloom pop is the lovechild of shoegaze and sepiachord, as ably demonstrated by the following musicians.

Gloom pop bands include: Glass, Fantome, Tearwave.

Chamber pop
Chamber pop, or Baroque pop, originated way back in the 1960s, but modern bands and musicians are breathing new life into the genre, described by Wikipedia thusly: "Modern Baroque pop, characterized by an infusion of orchestral arrangements or classical style composition generally within an indie or indie pop setting, is also often referred to as chamber pop or chamber rock. Sometimes traditional pop instrumentation is discarded entirely. Many artists often highlight songs with unique instruments not found in most modern popular music such as the accordion or harpsichord. The writing style of the genre often has a distinct narrative quality to it and often makes references to history, literature, philosophy, and folklore."

Chamber pop musicians include: Belle and Sebastian, The Divine Comedy, Evelyn Evelyn, Parenthetical Girls, Brasstronaut, Spell, The Tiny, The Decemberists, Pale Young Gentlemen, Dark Dark Dark.

Cello rock
Cello rock is a subgenre of rock music characterised by the use of the cello, and possibly other stringed instruments such as the violin. Rasputina are considered pioneers of this genre, and arguably the most popular band of this subgenre within the Goth scene, wherein they have acquired an enormous following.

Other cello rock musicians include: Hyperion, Von Cello, Apocalyptica, Unwoman, Disemballerina, Black Oak, Silenzium.

Some bands include a cellist in their line-up, but the cello is not the primary instrument.

These bands include: Tarja, Darling Violetta, Poe.


The Obscurialist 'Dr. Cult' said...

God I love this blog *looks up all the bands mentioned* I'm craving for new music!

Maeam said...

Oooh...New MUSIC!!! I will come back to get these names....!!! AND MY PLAYLIST WILL FLOURISH!!! BWAHAHAHA!!!

Joshua said... may be of interest to you too.

The Fool said...

Whenever I see these posts now I have started to write down all the bands that might have a sound I like... The Sepiachord you have mentioned here (both the description and names of the bands) seems to be riiight up my alley =D I can't wait to check everything out!

elShoggotho said...

You should look out for Coppelius. Basically, they're a rock band with clarinets instead of electric guitars, and cello and double bass for the string section.

InfiltratorN7 said...

The 'Sepiachord Paspport' is an awesome compilation, I recommend it to anyone interested in expanding their music collection and seeking out new sounds. I was feeling in a bit of a rut with music and craved new sounds and then saw this comp. recommended on Gothic Charm School. It sounded interesting enough for me to order a copy and I recognised two or three of the artists (TMTWNBBFN and Professor Elemental, Tiger Lillies).

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