If Joy Division’s songs speak to your soul, discovering other bands like Joy Division could be the therapy that your dark heart needs. Since the band formed in the 1970s, Joy Division has brought introspective and melodious tunes to the hearts and ears of the goth counterculture. Even after the death of lead singer Ian Curtis, the three remaining members of the band continued to produce haunting sounds through New Order.
Although there is nothing wrong with pulling the curtains closed and playing Love Will Tear Us Apart on repeat, there are other bands that can add some new drama to your playlist. If you are ready to devise a potion of epic goth proportion, these bands may be just what the witch doctor ordered.
This UK band formed in the late 1970s and infused the music scene with a darkness worthy of Count Dracula himself. This post-punk band is iconic for its melodious and tantalizing sounds, and like Joy Division's songs, its sonorous artworks incorporate dark and atmospheric elements.
Bela Lugosi’s Dead is the perfect introduction to their haunting sounds, and you will be drunk on the vocals of Peter Murphy from the first word from his vampiric mouth. She’s in Parties is also a must for creating the perfectly melancholy playlist.
2. The Birthday Party
Don’t be fooled by the celebratory name of this band; this Aussie post-punk ensemble will delight you with chaos. Taking inspiration from the punk movement, TBP was formed in the mid-70s as The Boys Next Door and has an abrasive and experimental sound that provides a contrast to the subtle and solemn rhythms of Joy Division while still bringing goth and punk themes.
Release the Batsand Nick the Stripper both infuse post-punk with classic punk and a little bit of blues to raise your spirits and possibly the dead. TBP’s songs are the perfect music to pair with a delightfully sinister outfit from Midnight Hour, like this sleek Mushroom Embroidered Romper or this Spine Back Midi Dress.
3. The Teardrop Explodes
Although this band was short-lived, the vocals of Julian Cope will be remembered in musical history. Blending new wave, psychedelic, and post-punk, The Teardrop Explodes has a unique and haunting sound that’s both eclectic and flamboyant.
Cope’s unusual sound and song structure mirror his experimental fashion sense, making him a tantalizing frontman. Their unconventional sound is peppered with horns, keyboards, bass, and drums. Listening to Reward and Treason is a must when delving into this band’s discography.
4. The Comsat Angels
Independence Day and Eye of the Lens are two tracks that showcase the introspection and melancholy of this band. Associated with the “darkwave” movement, they are known for their emotion-driven live performances. Layers of sound create their moody and melodic signature, while their lyrics hit to the dark core of goth and punk sensibilities.
During their most active period, frontman Stephan Fellows delivered raw and heart-wrenching performances while the rest of the band provided an evocative landscape of sound. Their somber image, both in person and in album art, was denoted by a black-and-white monochrome palette that mirrored their melancholy music.
5. The Sound
Brooding and atmospheric, The Sound lives up to its name by curating musical compositions anchored by propulsive rhythms. Memorable hooks and rich, textured lyrics give a depth to this band that takes listeners on a journey into their own minds and souls to explore the disillusionment of the world.
Like their fans, the band was searching for the meaning of life while bent on the verge of an existential crisis. Moody and introspective, The Sound offers the complexity and intellectualism that are paramount in the rich history of the goth and punk subcultures.
No pilgrimage of musical exploration would be complete without the beloved pioneers of punk, The Sex Pistols, and the despondent father of gothic rock, Robert Smith and The Cure. There are so many rabbit holes to fall down when it comes to tracking the evolution and dissolution of bands, but these are worth it.
6. The Sex Pistols
The Sex Pistols have been carved into the annals of history, maybe not so much for their musical abilities but for their showmanship and lively performances. Anyone who was gifted the opportunity to see them live more than likely went home with the bands’ blood and spit as souvenirs. Dangerous, unhinged, angry, and 100% pure punk rock, The Sex Pistols deserve a listen.
7. The Cure
The Cure, of course, is known not just as a band with a signature style, but as a group of individual musicians who exude singular talent. Most know frontman Robert Smith, but Micheal Dempsey is a sleeper member who played multiple instruments and sang backup and lead vocals for the band. If you don’t have this band on heavy rotation already, get on it.
In the Darkness, These Bands Will Speak to Your Soul
With a wide range of musical styles but all sharing common ground with the iconic goth band Joy Division, these seven bands round out the perfect playlist of mood music for anyone looking to embrace or escape the darkness and chaos of the modern world.
Minimalist to raging, they are all focused on the irony of the human condition and offer something for every mood. A journey through the albums of these artists is sure to drill down deep into anyone’s dark mind and eerie soul.