The Cure is an iconic and highly influential band in the post-punk, gothic rock, and new-wave genres, and if you’d like to listen to more music with a similar sound, there is a veritable feast of bands that will serve as a symphonic treat to your ears.
From contemporary lineups like Joy Division to newer ensembles like The Editors, our roundup of bands like The Cure (from its original line up to more recent iterations of the band) will be sure to evoke similar feelings of darkness and despair with their haunting melodies and atmospheric instrumental layers.
1. Joy Division - Classic 70s Gothic Rock
Hailing from Manchester, England, Joy Division is often regarded as one of the pioneers of post-punk. Joy Division’s songs feature haunting melodies, dark, lyrical themes, and an atmospheric sound that’s reminiscent of early songs by The Cure. Their gloomy yet captivating sound is sure to send chills down your spine.
After this English rock band formed, their influence on gothic and post-punk movements was undeniable. After Ian Curtis’ untimely and tragic death, the three remaining members of the band kept the sound alive for fans when they reemerged as New Order.
How Are the Bands Similar?
Both bands—The Cure and Joy Division—emerged in the 1970s, both having distinct styles but sharing the qualities that weave them into the fabric of goth culture. If you love the raw and minimalist quality of The Cure’s narratives or appreciate an ever-evolving sound, Joy Division will be the perfect addition to your melancholy playlist.
2. Sisters of Mercy - Expressive Vocals
Emerging in the 1980s and achieving early underground fame, this band quickly became known for its brooding sound. Deep undertones on the bass guitar, dramatic vocals, and haunting guitar riffs combine to create gloomy yet danceable tracks.
Sharing common ground within the gothic rock landscape, both Sisters of Mercy and The Cure bring their own aesthetic to listeners. Though Sisters of Mercy’s lead singer Andrew Eldritch has a distinct baritone voice, it is complementary to the emotive and expressive vocals of Robert Smith.
3. Interpol - Atmospheric Layers
Gaining attention and developing a devoted audience after its debut album, Interpol is known for its post-punk sound and style, reminiscent of both Joy Division and The Cure. Interpol’s dark, brooding style comes from the emotive vocals, haunting guitar riffs, and eerie melodies.
Both Interpol and The Cure are known for their atmospheric and melancholic sounds. While Robert Smith’s iconic voice is uniquely his own, the instrumental layers and singular arrangements of both bands have cemented them into the goth soundscape.
4. The Chameleons - The “Manchester Sound”
With a blend of post-punk and atmospheric rock, The Chameleons are often associated with what’s known as the “Manchester Sound.” Whereas The Cure’s music includes more diverse influences, this band leans more toward the intensity and urgency of punk. Songs with emotional depth mirror the introspection of the goth-inspired sentimentality of the band’s predecessors.
5. The Editors - Melancholy and Existentialism
With a consistent sound that showcases their post-punk and indie roots, music by The Editors fits seamlessly into an emotive playlist. Much like the sound and sentiment of The Cure, The Editors focus on the poetry of melancholy and existentialism. Their sound incorporates modern musical elements such as a synthesizer and a drum machine, earning them the title of a “dark disco” band.
In a more direct and narrative-driven fashion, The Editors deliver lyrics that encapsulate the goth sentiment. Though The Editors and The Cure have their own distinct sounds, they walk the same line of moody darkness that reflects upon this cruel world.
6. The Smiths - Haunting Melodies
This band consisted of bassist Andy Rourke, drummer Mike Joyce, guitarist Johnny Marr, and vocalist Stephan Patrick Morrissey, who mesmerized fans with the band’s darkly beautiful lyrics. The songwriting partnership between Morrissey and Marr produced such cult classics as Girlfriend in a Coma and Barbarism Begins at Home.
The influence of The Smiths reaches far beyond the five years the band toured and recorded together; Morrissey’s solo career has spanned decades, creating and influencing new fans in each successive generation. If you ever get a chance to see him live on his occasional residency in Las Vegas or while he’s touring, our alternative clothing is perfect for concert night.
Curate the Perfect Cure-Inspired Soundtrack
With a vast world of music genres before you, there is something for everyone when it comes to creating the perfect soundtrack to your daily life. A curated playlist featuring not only the beloved Cure but weaving in the melodic and murderous sounds of similar artists will round out the perfect storm of goth-inspired music.
Much like the diverse and dark fashions of Midnight Hour, the stylistic embellishments of the goth subculture can be found in sound and song. If your daily life leans more toward the romantic, dark, and macabre, these artists will be the perfect poison.