If recent trends are any indication, there’s a bit of an ’80s revival going on in the music scene. With a number of artists adopting elements of synth-pop and returning to the roots of early alternative rock, nostalgia abounds… And with it comes a sea of gothic, darkwave undercurrents.
Truth be told, goth rock hasn’t exactly gone anywhere. Some bands, such as the Cure, have remained at least intermittently active since the early days of the genre. Others, despite disbanding, continue to inspire modern outfits such as Blaqk Audio and the Birthday Massacre to carry forth the torch.
That’s not to say you have to look to ’80s- or even 2000s-rooted groups to find prominent displays of gothic rock. There are a number of relatively new artists who showcase the style beautifully. Here are 10 rising goth bands you should already be listening to.
Twin Tribes only just started gracing us with their elegant brand of post-punk dismality in 2018. However, don’t press play expecting to hear anything like the modern genre. The duo feel much more at home within the ’80s darkwave scene with their blackened, atmospheric sound. Take a listen to their 2019 album, Ceremony, and try to tell us we’re wrong.
A marked contrast to Twin Tribes, Strange Bones have put a distinctly modern twist on the genre. This outfit first emerged in 2015 with their debut single “S.O.I.A” and quickly started gaining traction with their thrashy, trap-influenced style. For a good taste of their wildly aggressive energy, take a listen to their 2021 collaboration with Death Tour on “Venom.”
You don’t even have to look past their name to learn everything you need to know about this brand-new artist. Dark made their debut in 2020 with the release of “Forever Suffer.” Since then, they’ve released five more ominous singles. Take a listen to their latest, “Nyctophilia,” for a rousing, ’80s-reminiscent take on darkwave.
Genuinely, you won’t believe that Kill Shelter wasn’t born in the foundations of the darkwave movement. Rather, solo artist Pete Burns has only been dishing out his sinister, post-punk eclecticism since 2018. He recently dropped his first single since the release of his album, Damage, in 2019. Featuring Antipole, “Raise The Skies” boasts spirited but sinister energy that’s sure to get your heart racing.
Gvllow‘s got an impressive discography for an artist who only debuted in 2017. His goth-laced, nü-metal-leaning sound spans two studio albums, an EP and a handful of singles. However, his latest, “Fell In Love With A Ghost” strays into a more traditional darkwave territory. The project is truly a must-listen for anybody who values variety and intrigue in their playlists.
Creux Lies are notably genre-bending, but there’s no overlooking their signature dark air. The rising outfit seamlessly blend influences from a diverse array of ’80s goth favorites—from Depeche Mode to the Cure—to create a post-punk-rooted sound with indie-pop accents. Active since 2017, they just dropped a new single, “Electrum,” in February.
La Scaltra are a bit of an enigma. They exist somewhere at the crossroads of post-punk and indie rock, delivering ’80s-style melodies with poignant edges. We’re inclined to call it “soft goth” from a sonic standpoint, but there’s no denying their dark energy and aesthetic. Since their debut in 2016, the outfit have released three full-lengths. Be sure to check out 2020’s Cabaret.
undertheskin is the creative moniker of Polish musician Mariusz Łuniewski. Operating under the project since 2015, Łuniewski puts his own spin on gothic rock, overlaying a traditional post-punk foundation with grunge-y coldwave accents. Following the release of his first full-length, N E G A T I V E, he dropped a new single, “End This Summer,” this past October.
“Danceable despondence” is the first description that comes to mind when trying to pin down Forever Grey‘s unique, dreamy vibe. Their stylistic leanings toward darkwave is undeniable, although they put forth an air of modernity. Last year, the band released their third studio album since their debut in 2016. Just like the two that preceded it, Departed is one of those records that demands a listen from start to finish.
Talk To Her
Italy-based Talk To Her steer a bit more energetic than what we expect from traditional darkwave. It’s an intoxicating experience, driven by commanding, dark electro-rock. Despite the up-and-coming outfit only just releasing their debut full-length, Love Will Come Again, in 2020, their progressive style feels like 40 years in the making.
Who are some of your favorite new goth bands in the modern alternative scene? Let us know in the comments below!