Despite what many thought, goth managed to persist as a subculture in the pop zeitgeist. Who could have predicted that something dreamed up by British youths obsessed with death, punk and eyeliner could be around in 2020? World Goth Day is a thing and we’re here to celebrate it today.
As we have explored in the past, goth has been a mainstay of the modern Latinx music landscape since shortly after its inception. There are goth scenes in Latin America that continue to be fertile ground for the music. However, as much as the style has proliferated away from its birthplace in England, it has transcended time by adapting itself by leaving some of its sonic rigor behind.
There was a time when goth music and goth style were mutually exclusive. Over time, the music began broadening its sounds while their fashion sense took hold of audiences that were not necessarily invested in the music itself. That has allowed goth to propel itself to different arts, disciplines, and even memes. Indeed, making fun of darketos has made an enduring entity instead of debilitating it.
As such, goth continues to be a source of inspiration for Latinxs to this day. Not only are there bands keeping the (cold) flame alive by following in the footsteps of The Cure or Sisters of Mercy; there are also artists who find inspiration in the primordial aspects of the goth aesthetics. A prime example is urbano superproducer Tainy, who regularly rocks out Nine Inch Nails t-shirts and even dressed up like Marilyn Manson for Halloween last year.
For this year’s World Goth Day, we assembled a list of goth acts worth checking out. As such, the list includes keepers of the faith as well as fusionists doing interesting things with elements of the genre. As diverse as the list might be, it’s all united by one singular vision of the beautiful, ecstatic macabre.
Check out our Unhappy World Goth Day playlist here.
It shouldn’t take you long to understand that the Argentine urbano artist is one with the Hot Topic mindforce. Her logo is a skull-and-bones with pigtails, for crying out loud! However, the influence of the genre doesn’t stop there. Her music often features melancholic guitar like prime-era My Chemical Romance and even nods to Evanescence here and there.
Hailing from Tijuana, Dani Shivers remains an underrated queen of lo-fi dark pop. With every subsequent release, she pairs her knack for pop melodies with simple yet atmospheric keyboards, which can make even the blackest heart smile, at least a little.
With a tag like “brujacore” attached to the music, it’s hard not to make the case for Romeo Diablos’ place in the current spooky urbano subgenre. The producer cites both Daddy Yankee and industrial pioneers Throbbing Gristle as influences of his noisy experiments meet culo-shaking beats.
Continuing the legacy of acts that combine folk-based songwriting, atmospheric darkness and penchant for ecstatic washes of noise, Guadalajara, Mexico’s PHI are one of the most interesting bands playing around the edges of the goth label. Hypnotic, morbid and strangely life-affirming music in a single package.
Peru has given us some of the OGs in the goth genre and the scene thrives to this day thanks to bands like Lima’s Something Obscura, a band that combines monochromatic soundscapes with brooding vocals that respects the genre’s roots and adds it’s personality to it.
This San Juan, Puerto Rico duo is one of the most prolific bands on this list. With more than 30 releases since 2013, including albums, EPs, singles, and alternate projects. They have explored music from the intangible and slow-burning to rocking melodies for results that are both menacing and fun.
While the Costa Rican duo of Fiamma Aleotti and Ronald Bustamante Medina might not recall the more familiar tones of The Cure or Bauhaus, the heavy sorrow in their music and adventurous spirit puts them in league with the classics of the dark mascara set.
Dave Parley might be better known as half of the cholo goth legends Prayers, but his other band pays tribute to another dark corner of the scene. With his wife Mel he forms Meldamor, a fun throwback that gives us some premium danceable malevolence.
A contender for urbano goth producer newcomer crown, Kelman Duran has made Kanye West and techno titans Demdike Stare fans of his slightly abstract take on dembow. This Dominicano producer shows that the thick mist of darkness can easily be applied to avant electronics.
La Procesión De Lo Infinito
Colombia’s La Procesión De Los Infinito is proof that goth en español can be as somber and menacing as its English counterpart. In the process of their career, the band have accumulated fans around the world.