A Field Guide to Five of Arizona’s Best Gothic Bands
Despite the blue sky and the relentless desert sun, the gloom of Gothic-inspired music is firmly rooted in our beautiful state.
Gothic rock first appeared in post-punk outfits in the ’70s, although it has certainly changed dramatically in the decades since. Some opponents claim that goth in its “purest” form is dead, but it is clear that elements of goth still exist and serve as stylistic or conceptual inspiration for many musicians today.
These five Arizona acts are inspired by the Gothic subculture and musical style.
Lav Andula is a Gothic electronic noise artist in Tucson whose work displays elements of Gothic sound, with moody beats and dissonant voices rippling under a blanket of noise. Described by its creator as “harsh, hoarse dance music to cry and spit blood to,” Lav Andula’s music is simply fascinating.
Lav Andula’s newest single, “Give Me an Excuse to Relax”, is available on Band Camp.
Logan Lowrey Rasmussen
From the start of the Phoenix group’s last album Closet Goth, Heat oppressed brain, the Gothic influence is clear. In addition to the obscurity that emanates from their music, there is also a pop-dance energy that goes with it. Closet Goth is a great example of how goth and electropunk work well together.
We asked Closet Goth what goth means to them. “Goth means next to nothing,” says lead singer Col Bauer. “With goth it is implemented on our behalf due to the closed nature of those who see themselves as goth. Now that goth is more popular among people with money, my name and style are so much cheaper.
Heat oppressed brain can be found via Closet Goth’s Band Camp.
Lana del rage
Lana del rage
Phoenix Lana del rage is another artist who lets the grime and obscurity of noise and industrial elements envelop her sound. There is a raw, almost animal but feminine quality to her music, something both bewitching and sweetly frightening.
“I don’t claim to be an expert in subculture, but goth is for me a general personal attraction to understanding the darker aspects of life without necessarily embodying these concepts personally,” says Sam An, the musician behind Lana del Rabies. “I think there’s a cliché that goths look scary but are the most sensitive and potentially the kindest people, and I think that sums up the concept of gothic music as well. Darkness is only one aspect of life, and exploring it can be done in a way that expands your understanding of the world without necessarily becoming a dark or cruel person. It can actually heal, give you more empathy, and motivate you to do something drastic, if properly harnessed.
Sam An is currently working on a new project and musical direction under the name Beata.
Gothic glam and psych pop merge in the work of Godstar, an electronic band from Valley that has all the doom and gloom of historic Gothic music and the vibes of modern dance music.
“I think when people think of gothic music, they just think of the dark, but there’s more to it,” says drummer Matt Hainlen. “It’s alive, it’s fashionable, it’s even religious. Our gothic tendencies seemed to come quite naturally; it was never something we had to discuss or agree to. “
Godstar is currently working on his first album. Their housing can be found via Band Camp.
Body of Light
Body of Light
Body of Light describes their new album, UBK – Nothing you can do, as an “exploration of American disease”. It’s an interesting album that has unique gothic elements. A blend of sonic collages and dark synth rhythms, Body of Light’s music is a perfectly produced ensemble of Gothic-inspired sounds that tell a story without a single word.
UBK – Nothing You Can Do can be broadcast on Band Camp.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free … Since we started Phoenix New Times, he was defined as the free and independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like it to be that way. Providing our readers with free access to cutting edge coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with bold reporting, sleek writing, and staff who have won it all, from the Society of Professional’s Sigma Delta Chi Feature Film Writing Award Journalists at the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with the existence of local journalism under siege and declines in advertising revenue having a greater impact, it is more important than ever for us to rally our support for funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our “I Support” membership program, allowing us to continue to cover Phoenix without paywalls.