Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Inspired by Goth: Kerli

Kerli, born Kerli Koiv, is an Estonian singer who has gained immense popularity and a loyal following amongst Goths - young female Goths especially - for her music, her image, and her style, for which she has coined the term 'bubble Goth'.

Her style brought her to the collective attentions of the Goth scene, backed up by the music videos for Walking On Air and Tea Party (beautiful video, but I find the lyrics somewhat alarming, personally. Tea parties should be charming and elegant, not, um... risque). She then performed on the Almost Alice soundtrack for Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland (again with the song Tea Party, and on the song Strange, a collaboration with Tokio Hotel).

Her musical style is generally described as a combination of pop and electro with a hint of alternative rock, and amongst her influences she claims Bjork and Imogen Heap, who also have a small but reasonably dedicated Goth following. Her favourite band is cited as Sigur Ros, who are also quite popular in the Goth scene.

The bubble Goth moniker allegedly came about when Kerli was widely referred to as a Goth artist after the release of the album Love Is Dead, which does involve some very Goth-friendly lyrics and imagery. A critic responded that Kerli was more 'bubblegum Goth', to which Kerli replied, "That's exactly what I am, I'm going to take this concept and roll with it."
Kerli describes bubble Goth as, "putting together light and dark, opposites, and things that you don't really necessarily think go together," and "like a Gothic Spice Girl." (The mind boggles at that last snippet.)

Kerli's fan base and street team form a community group called the Moon Children, which she originally established as a gathering for 'Indigo Children' ("a pseudoscientific label given to children who are claimed to possess special, unusual and/or supernatural traits or abilities" - Wiki). Moon Children is still described by Kerli as being for people who "feel too much and find it hard to exist in this world, so that they wouldn't think they're crazy" but rather than being exclusively for Indigo Children has developed into a "movement of Integrity, Love and Unity."

Kerli and many of her Moon Children wear three dots as part of their make-up, representing the three principles of their movement.

Kerli's personal life has been troubled, with reports of Kerli suffering bipolar disorder and attempting suicide when she was seventeen.

Kerli believes in angels and fairies, and my favourite anecdote about her is that when she was fifteen, she asked her mother if she could get a tattoo, the symbol for 'music' in Chinese. Her mother was not impressed and told her that if she could read every book in town and write a report on it, she could get the tattoo. Apparently, Kerli did so, and her mother took her to get the tattoo the day before her sixteenth birthday.
Whilst Kerli's blend of ethereal electronic alt-pop might not be Goth per se, it is definitely Goth-friendly, and Kerli's fashion choices have inspired many young Goths, which is fitting, as much of her inspiration clearly comes from Goth to begin with.


Hoshii said...

I adore her !

Buckbeak The Pegasus said...

Thank you! I've been a fan of kerli for such a long time now, and its such a great thing to see her getting some attention! What I love most about her current attitude and fashion is the combination of dark and light - I've always had a liking for lolita and cyber fashion. I really hope she releases some material in the UK soon (other than 'Tea Party', anyway)

Under_The_Stairs said...

Despite the fact that I listen to a bunch of music I've never heard of her!I'll check her out later,for sure..

Tegan said...

Love Kerli! She also gets extra bat points for covering Bauhaus ;P

akumaxkami said...

Kerli is amazing. Her music and style are really inspiring to me.

Lilith said...

I LOVE her! She's a major inspiration for me.

If it's any consolation, Kerli co-wrote "Tea Party" with someone else, and it's to my uderstanding that she usually writes her ow stuff solo. (I could be wrong on that.) Tea Party is a good song, but nothing near as good as her other stuff! =)

Thorn said...

Well, looks like I'm the odd duck here, but oh well. I HATE HER. There has never been and never will be a such thing as "bubble goth". Kerli is nothing but a poseur in search of attention and no doubt covers goth songs to cement the idea of her "goth" image which was implanted in her empty head by a careless judge.

Oh, and her music is crappy too.

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