Back in the ‘90s, labels like Projekt and Hyperium Records put out a number of “darkwave” albums by bands with really artsy names (e.g., Soul Whirling Somewhere, Love Spirals Downwards, Love Is Colder Than Death) that featured lush, dreamy soundscapes and ethereal voices à la This Mortal Coil and Cocteau Twins singing melodramatic lyrics about love, loss, regret, and the like.
Arguably the best example of this is Soul Whirling Somewhere’s 1993 debut, Eating the Sea, which I listened to with great frequency throughout the mid-90s (usually at night while stretched out on of the floor of my tiny apartment).
Yes, it’s an incredibly overwrought genre of music, but I love it, and with so many other genres seeing a resurgence in recent years, I can’t help but ask: Where are all of the modern “darkwave” artists? Browsing Bandcamp’s “darkwave” tag reveals a lot of releases, but many of them seem to be of a decidedly more synthwave/electro variety. That, or just straight up goth and post-punk.
Which is all fine and good — never let it be said that I don’t appreciate edgy arpeggios and/or trebly, Seventeen Seconds-esque guitars — but I’m ultimately looking for music that’s softer, quieter, and more contemplative.