Top 10 Goth(ish) Songs By Non-Goth Artists
I am an egalitarian goth myself. I like to include all manners of acts under the banner as long as I feel their music in some way is in lockstep with gothic themes. That why I'll happily declare Johnny Cash goth, and Stevie Nicks as well.
But some acts came from way out of left field with a fine spooky hit, and today we celebrate them for sticking a toe in musical river Styx.
10. Oasis, "Live Forever" If you took the weird, trying-to-sound-Lennon twang out of the vocals then Oasis would more or less have a perfectly good Love and Rockets tune in the form of "Live Forever." It's kind of hard to believe a vampire film has never used this as a credit song.
9. Tanya Tucker, "The Thunder Rolls" Though Garth Brooks wrote it made it famous, and his version is awesome, Tanya Tucker recorded it first though her verson was never released. That "Thunder," though, has the infamous third verse full of marital vengeance and murder. Whatever her version lacks in Brooks' production values, it gains in an empty, aching sincerity.
8. Japandroids, "Lucifer's Symphony" Despite Japandroids' Canadian origins, which will generally cost your character three goth points from the outset, Japandroids have laid down this one freaking killer track full of Skinny Puppy evil. It's got buckets of blood and murder and endless malicious glee, which makes it tops in my book.
7. Divinyls, "If Love Was a Gun" If all you know about the Divinyls is "I Touch Mysself" then you missed out on some really great Australian pop music. Hidden on diVINYLS is this hopeless little heartbreaker that also has some wonderful suicide imagery.
6. Patsy Cline, "Walking After Midnight" If there is any country song that every goth loves, it is "Walking After Midnight." That's not conjecture, by the way. I've asked them. Loneliness, night time, sad trees, "Walking After Midnight" is like a template for half of Faith and the Muse's catalogue.
5. TV on the Radio, "Wolf Like Me" Personally, I feel that any band that has collaborated with Peter Murphy should be disqualified from this list as they are either goth or working towards it, but it's been suggested to me a lot. There's not doubt that the group was listening to Bauhaus records when they wrote "Wolf Like Me."
4. Jars of Clay, "Flood" Now, plenty of goths are Christians, and there is even a genre of music called Christian Goth. (Yes, it is absolutely hysterical) None of those bands, though, will ever do what Jars of Clay managed to do with this amazing combination of Robert Smith guitar lines and Ian Curtis lyrics. It still gives me shivers years later.
3. Jimmy Swaggart, "Where the Roses Never Fade" Close your eyes listening to that song and tell me that you can't picture Nick Cave from the Let Love In era doing that exact same song in the exact same way. Then again, Swaggart himself has had the kind of life experiences that would make even Cave blush.
2. ICP, "Echo Side" I maintain that one and only one purely gothic rap song has ever been written, and it was done by ICP. Their bleak look at the wastelands outside the realm of hell populated by headless children is some straight up Sopor Æternus shit. "Echo Side" could be a template for a whole new genre. It's that good.
1. Taylor Swift, "Haunted" No one embodies the premise of this article like Taylor Swift. I've always noticed tiny bits of goth peeking through her good girl pop country façade, and when she released "Haunted" I knew I was right. This girl is itching to be the next Chibi somewhere down in the cockles of her heart, and when she goes full-on Chris Gaines I will be there with a bouquet of black roses.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.