Roségoth: 37 Pitch-Black Songs For Pink Covens

Aug 22, 2018
Originally published on September 12, 2018 7:17 pm

You have not one, but several shades of black lipstick to match the varying shades of your dark void existence. You always rock Siouxsie Sioux eyeliner, even if it's just imprinted on your soul while you're staring listlessly in class or slogging away at a 9-to-5. You've had a comic-book crush on Dream from Sandman or "Hopey" from Love and Rockets for, like, ever. Billy Corgan in a black dress gives you feelings (but maybe not so much lately). Safety pins are perfectly acceptable as earrings. Obsidian Unicorn and Nova, your besties since middle school, can't wait to publish your morbid poetry in a zine with a punny name like Andrew Eldritch Has A Posse.

You are goth: not limited to any one genre of music, but encompassing a spectrum of dark sounds, moods and fabrics. When I retweeted photos of a depressed sunbather in an inflatable pink coffin, I naturally saw goth — but I also saw a tint of roséwave, the lifestyle that comes with its own summery pop soundtrack of certainly brighter, but equally eclectic taste. Naturally, this nexus of simple pleasures — pink wine and black fishnets — deserve a playlist.

Confession: I've never been goth, but have spent plenty of time listening to gloomy synth-pop, industrial, post-punk and dream-pop by stylish musicians in jet-black tones. They sing about misery and death with melodramatic flair, but could put those leather pants to work on the dance floor. They make hypnotic and romantic pieces of music that feel like swimming through fizzy pink bubbles. This is the genesis of Roségoth because, hey, goths get basic, too.

The classics are key: there's the glittery volcanic eruption of Siouxsie and the Banshees' "Cities in Dust," the polka-dotted rainbow goths in Strawberry Switchblade, The Cure's ridiculously over-the-top answer to Wham! ("Why Can't I Be You?") and Echo & the Bunnymen's "Lips Like Sugar," admitted to the roséwave canon by song title alone. There are the spectacular dalliances by bands that were always goth, just expressed sparingly (The Smashing Pumpkins' "Ava Adore," Low's spot-on This Mortal Coil tribute "Half Light"). Nine Inch Nails reps hard for your reps at the gym — you know, if health goth was actually about music — with "The Hand That Feeds." Current-day artists Zola Jesus and Azar Swan commune with glowstick goth-pop and necro-Robyn robotics, respectively, as Sevdaliza swirls sexy industrial into shadowy trip-hop and the Dominican trio Mula adds some dark dembow loops to the mix. My Chemical Romance, Pale Waves and Billie Eilish are the pop-driven entry points for modern mall goths that nevertheless speak to the funereal camaraderie found in fellow outcasts.

So, goth friends, if you would have us pink drink enthusiasts, come join the roséwave coven. We'll open a bottle of blood-red cabernet.

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