It’s steaming outside. Scorching. Sunnies everywhere. Ice cream on tap. So what better time to celebrate World Goth Day?
Today (May 22) is the day to whip out the eyeliner, all-black attire and skull and crossbones necklace. To celebrate World Goth Day, we’ve put together an essential playlist of the most gothtastic songs around, from some of music’s most brilliantly morose icons.
Words: Molly Willis
The Cure – ‘Lullaby’
A word of warning: if you’re afraid of spiders, never watch the music video for this one. The lyrics make nightmarish allusions to ‘Spiderman’, and it’s safe to assume that Robert Smith didn’t write this about the Marvel superhero. In fact, the song and its subject, which eats the protagonist whole and is “always hungry”, is widely believed to be a metaphor for addiction.
Echo and The Bunnymen – ‘The Killing Moon’
“Fate up against your will / through the thick and thin / he will wait until / you give yourself to him”. Recently featured on the soundtrack to Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, Ian McCulloch has long credited the lyrics of this haunting track to God, having woken up one morning with the phrase in his head.
Siouxsie and the Banshees – ‘Cities in Dust’
Released in 1981, Siouxsie and the Banshee’s ‘Juju’ marked the beginning of their evolution from a post-punk band into one of the most influential groups of the gothic rock era. As the album’s lead single, ‘Spellbound’ exemplifies this better than any other.
Evanescence – ‘My Immortal’
In 2003, Amy Lee was the undisputed queen of noughties goths everywhere. After all, what’s more goth than a spirit haunting you after its death? Just to drill home their credentials, they made sure to shoot the music video in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona.
Sisters of Mercy – ‘Lucretia My Reflection’
Written in honour of their bassist Patricia Morrison, this ode to lady goths compares their bassist to Lucrezia Borgia, the femme fatale of the 16th century papacy who allegedly went around poisoning people for fun.
Bauhaus – ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’
Paying tribute to Dracula actor Bela Lugosi, this nine-minute track covers all the necessary bases, from bats to coffins to vampires and the undead.
Alien Sex Fiend – ‘Dead and Buried’
Alien Sex Fiend formed in a club called the Batcave – which says everything, really. ‘Dead and Buried’ is a showcase of their enormous range of influences, from post-punk to electronica and industrial music.
Marilyn Manson – ‘The Beautiful People’
Marilyn Manson might be the GOAT goth. This single intertwines Nietzsche with a critique of the materialistic pop culture in the mid-late 90s.
PJ Harvey – ‘Down By The Water’
Okay, so PJ Harvey isn’t strictly associated with goth culture. However, Harvey’s constant will to experiment with her sound led to her playing with gothic themes in this 1995 breakthrough, which tells the story of a woman drowning her daughter.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – ‘Red Right Hand’
Like Harvey, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds aren’t identifiable goths. However, the darkness of ‘Red Right Hand’ combined with Cave’s gravelly vocal creates what can be best described as a horror movie in a song.