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9 Goth Girl Groups You Need To Know

Music
Photo Courtesy of Moira Scar/Facebook

The cure for your goth band needs

Since its transition to a more mainstream crowd years back, goth music has maintained its iconic status—thanks to its intense sounds and visuals and passionate musicians and fans—but has extricated itself from the accompanying troubled history surrounding its association with former elements of the genre that wasn't always inclusive in terms of race, gender, and sexuality. But that was then. Here and now, we've compiled a list of nine diverse, female-fronted goth bands that are among the best of the genre, all of whom bring unique, groundbreaking, and relatable perspectives to the goth scene.

Give them a listen and let your inner witch fly free.

Dolores Haze
Kicking off the monumentous list is a NYLON fav, Dolores Haze. The Scandinavian riot-grrrl group has a dynamic sound that brings the lighter sides of rock to the goth genre. There isn’t much to know about these ladies; with band members aliases Groovy Nick, Groovy Fuck, Lucky Lollo, and Foxy Sagz they maintain a strong sense of anonymity and an air of mystery, giving us crazy amounts of jealousy to be a part of it all. What we do know: They’ve been around since 2014, they’re here to stay, and, when it comes down to it, they are as “diva couture” and “goth sex” as it gets. And don't forget: "The haze is forever."

 

Chelsea Wolfe
Chelsea Wolfe has been a presence in the goth community for more than 10 years, and yet she feels as fresh as ever. Wolfe pulls inspiration from two factions of her persona: her “dark, quiet, and foggy childhood” and her prolonged dance with sleep paralysis. Influenced by the ever-present amalgamation of musical genres in which she grew up (her father was in a country band!), Wolfe was able to foster her own creativity as a young girl, recording "casio-based gothy R&B songs” at just nine years old in her father’s studio. Nevertheless, today Wolfe has cultivated a sound and image unique to herself.

As for her long-time battle with sleep paralysis, Wolfe has allowed her nightly journeys and that “intersection of the conscious and unconscious” to become a source of positivity rather than fear, serving as the inspiration for her new album, Abyss, which is about “diving quickly into your own subconscious.” Disorienting, hypnotic, and oftentimes overpowering, Wolfe’s vision is one that resonates with most people, even if they’re goth newbies.

 

Militia Vox
There’s a running stereotype that metal singers can’t actually sing. With a powerful voice and four-octave range, Militia Vox puts that cliche to rest. Amongst a long and unbelievable list of jobs and accomplishments, Vox has worked as a former VJ for MTV and VH1 (remember those days?), a backup singer for the likes of Cyndi Lauper and Nancy Sinatra, and currently fronts the band Judas Priestess, an all-girl tribute to Judas Priest. Vox channels a sound that brings synth and noise to her gloomy goth carols that have inspired a generation—so much so that Vox was dubbed the “Rock Goddess” of Afropunk. Having just released another EP, Isosceles, and announced her anticipatory sophomore album, The Villainess, Vox is clearly on the rise. She is the Rock Goddess, after all.

 

aTelecine
Long ago, Sasha Grey was mostly known for her work in the adult entertainment industry, though she quickly made a name for herself as a mainstream actress with parts in Entourage and The Girlfriend Experience. Grey has also worked as an advocate for sex workers and reforms in our educational system. And—surprise, surprise—Grey just happens to be the lead singer for modern-goth band aTelecine. With a murky, disorienting sound and an aesthetic to match, aTelecine is evidence of what you might call the "new goth" scene. Though Grey no longer fronts the band, their uniquely industrial sound will keep you listening, and hoping, wishing, praying for something new from them soon.

 

Moira Scar
A self-declared “intergalactic punk, psych goth,” Moira Scar brings image and sound together to culminate its persona as an artist. With eye-catching album covers, intense sounds, and the visuals to match (they wear heavy metal masks while performing, what dedication!), Moira Scar has established itself with a distinctive originality that is seriously lacking in the current, ever-generic music industry. It’s been two years since Scar has released anything new, but we sense something is on the way…

 

The Black Belles
It’s been a minute since they’ve released anything, but most definitely deserving of a place on the list is the Black Belles, a band that will rock your soul. Discovered by Jack White (of the White Stripes) in 2011 and a favorite of Stephen Colbert, the Black Belles has become iconic for honoring its roots in garage and goth rock whilst also pushing the bounds of sound into new territories. The lovely ladies that make up the band—Shelby Lane, Ruby Rodgers and Olivia Jean—met at an all-girls reform school, come with a penchant for wide-brimmed hats, have dramatic biographies (case in point: “she is a notorious creature that’s feared throughout the world and she generally has a bad reputation for being very aggressive and highly venomous”), and come with some serious side effects. As they best put it, “Many people who come in contact with [the Black Belles] may experience serious, sometimes fatal side effects. Nausea, vomiting, headache, unusual changes in body temp." The group has been a bit inactive as of late, however, we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed until the moment there’s something new.

 

 

La Scaltra
“Find beauty in darkness…” advises La Scaltra, the ever-authentic, ever-eccentric German goth band of our aesthetically oriented dreams. With the gloomiest of sounds and narratives, Aeleth Kaven and Dae Widow’s newly formed La Scaltra proves there’s no denying that goth rock is for young people. Just last month, La Scaltra released their debut album, Cabaret, featuring eight cohesive tracks that bring a sense of modernity and techno to the genre. Uninterested in the “wannabes” and “wankers,” Kaven and Widow are here to make goth music without the phoniness and conceit.

 

Azar Swan
“Dark music in a dark world,” is the motto of Brooklyn, New York-based band Azar Swan. Made up of Zohra Atash and Josh Strawn, Azar Swan brings elements of major world issues with both members of the group outspoken about the current state of politics and terror. Their music reflects that passion for the world, carrying over their personal experiences as well as other people's into the songwriting process. Like their fellow goth compatriots, Azar Swan brings modern elements into music, exemplified in a sound that is uplifting, yet matched by a dark shadow that shines through in the key points of the tracks. Though there’s no official announcement yet, Atash and Strawn assured fans that they're two songs away from finishing their LP. We can't wait.

 

Siouxsie Sioux
You didn't think I was going to go without mentioning the ultimate Goth Queen, did you? In compiling a list of goth goddesses, it is pretty much a requirement to pay homage to Siouxsie Sioux, the inspiration of all inspirations, queen of all queens. Lead singer of Siouxsie and the Banshees, Sioux got her start back in 1976, where she turned heads and commanded attention for her groundbreaking sound and image in a newly established, quickly growing goth genre. Sioux isn’t just an inspiration, but the inspiration, influencing a generation and reminding them that there is, in fact, a community out there just like them, one that shares the same passion and appreciation for the darker things in life. Without Sioux, who knows where the aforementioned bands would be at this moment in life? Though she hasn’t produced much in the past decade, her music is still as fresh, invigorating, and inventive as ever.

 

Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images

Sounds fake, but okay

In a new interview for Australian Vogue, Kendall Jenner makes the claim that being associated with the Kardashian name was a setback in her modeling career. Hmmm, that's funny, because power and influence usually works in their holder's favor.

In the interview, Jenner addresses skeptics who doubted that she would make it as a professional model. "A lot of people assumed that because I came from a 'name' that it was a lot easier for me to get to where I got, but actually it's the completely opposite," she says.

"I've always been the person to prove [critics] wrong, even when I was younger," she says. "I've always been a hard worker: that's in my blood. My parents raised me and my little sister to be that way and the rest of my sisters, too." In the profile, it's revealed that Jenner used to attend castings "simply as 'K' or 'Kendall' to distinguish herself from her famous family."

But keeping her name off her portfolio wasn't going to fool anyone, really. Her face has been on television for years, and it seems unlikely that a casting agent wouldn't know who she was even if Kendall didn't come out and say it. Perhaps Jenner was more closely examined and more readily criticized by people who doubted her, but I'm not sure I believe that she had a harder time gaining a modeling platform or booking big jobs, even if she didn't use her last name.

After all, Jenner was likely able to get into those big casting rooms right away because of her family's connections, and she was able to devote her time to pursuing that career because of the wealth they have. She would've had a much harder time making a name for herself if she didn't come from an influential family. She probably wouldn't get to be so selective about which shows she walks, and she definitely wouldn't be the highest paid model in the world.

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Screenshot via Hulu

Introspection is not a bad thing

In Look Back at It, we revisit pop culture gems of the past and see if they're still relevant and worthy of their designated icon status in our now wildly different world.

"It just seems like you agree to have a certain personality or something, for no reason. Just to make things easier for everyone. But when you think about it, I mean, how do you know it's even you?"

Iconic '90s show My So-Called Life is filled with existential questions and observations like this, with many, if not all of them, voiced by high school sophomore Angela Chase (Claire Danes). They're delivered with a familiarly annoyed tone, as if Angela can't believe things are the way they are, and that they're unlikely to change.

Angela lives with her parents and sister in a comfortable home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and spends her time navigating the social scene of Liberty High School. She's undergoing a big change, having switched friend groups and fallen in with a cooler crew, namely Rayanne Graff (A.J. Langer) and Rickie Vasquez (Wilson Cruz). Thanks to them, Angela dyed her hair from blonde to a "Crimson Glow," and is encouraged to indulge in her obsession with Jordan Catalano (a pre-Gucci Jared Leto), the kind of guy who's constantly applying Visine and has a limited chance of actively graduating.

From the first moment of the first episode, Angela's voice is pure, unadulterated teen angst. The melodrama can, when watching as an adult, feel like it's too much. And then there's other times, like when Angela talks about the agony of Sunday evenings, that it feels unnerving to relate so much to a 15-year-old:

"There's something about Sunday night that really makes you want to kill yourself, especially if you've just been totally made a fool of by the only person you'll ever love, and you have a geometry midterm on Monday, which you still haven't studied for because you can't, because Brian Krakow has your textbook, and you're too embarrassed to even deal with it. And your little sister's completely finished with her homework, which is just, like, so simple and mindless a child could do it. And that creepy 60 Minutes watch that sounds like your whole life ticking away."

Angela is nothing if not an over-thinker, preoccupied with very teenage problems like zits and gossip and who to talk to at parties; her thoughts on the most simple of relationships are extreme, like when she thinks about how she felt before she became friends with Rayanne and Rickie: "it seemed like if I didn't, I would die or something."

Sometimes, her melodrama feels suffocating—particularly when related to Jordan Catalano (it's imperative to say both his names). Angela wonders: "Huge events take place on this earth every day. Earthquakes, hurricanes... even glaciers move. So why couldn't he just look at me?"

As an adult, it's easy to think that, of course, Jordan should look at her: She's smart, witty, open-hearted, pretty, has good taste in music. But then, there's no way to make sense of how crushes work. As a sophomore in high school, I also pined after guys who I felt were out of my league, and after the only girls who were out... but who were dating each other. My thoughts probably (definitely) sounded a lot like Angela's, and I was similarly dissatisfied with my life.

At the time, that dissatisfaction felt oppressive—and I wouldn't want to relive it entirely. But that introspection was also what saved me. By questioning what was around me and interrogating how I really felt, I was able to reject the trappings of my conservative town, figure out my own politics, and accept my own queerness. My teenage dissatisfaction with the way things actually are made me grow as a person, and it shaped me into who I am. Thinking about Angela now, and how her angst fueled her, reminds me that I should also let myself indulge in some teen angst—even as an adult.

In one of the show's final episodes, Angela pauses to reflect on the value of her overthinking. She's ringing in the New Year with her friends and decides her resolution could be "to stop getting so caught up in my own thoughts, because I'm like way too introspective… I think." But she decides against that idea, because "what if not thinking turns me into this really shallow person?" Same, Angela. Same.

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Courtesy of HBO

Thanks, I hate it

In an interview today with The Cut, Vanderpump Rules star Stassi Schroeder blessed readers with some of her thoughts on HBO's Game of Thrones, and since we can't get enough GoT talk, we were excited to see what Schroeder had to say.

And, in case you're wondering if Schroeder is a fan of GoT, don't: She's actually such a massive fan that she refers to her fans Khaleesis, and they call her Khaleesi right back. So!

Anyway, after the wide range of responses to Daenerys' fiery mayhem in the show's penultimate episode, The Cut wanted to check in to see how Schroeder was faring, and ask what she thought of it all. While Schroeder's opinion on Dany is mixed (she found the Dragon Queen's "crazy" actions to be relatable, but she didn't think it followed Dany's character arc), it wasn't, like, a bad opinion, just a bit muddled, if not so different than those of the majority of viewers.

Schroeder's real hot take, though—what we feel comfortable calling the worst GoT opinion we've heard—is about another character altogether: Arya Stark. Here's what Schroeder had to say about our favorite blacksmith-banging, Night King-killing, proposal-denying assassin in all the Seven Kingdoms: "Arya, I feel like she probably should have just married whats-his-name [Ed. note: Gendry! His name is Gendry!!]. What's wrong with being a lady and a badass at the same time? You don't have to choose just one."

And, like, sure, you don't have to choose just one, but Arya would never choose to be a lady. That's not her! So, if we're still talking about characters behaving inconsistently, Arya saying yes to a proposal (a rushed one at that) would have been absolutely bonkers. Arya's not about to change her entire personality just because some dude drops down on one knee and proposes, and to want her to do so would be like wanting Dany to act like a sheep, instead of a dragon.

All to say, you know nothing, Stassi Schroeder.

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hoto by Steve Jennings/Getty Images for Civic Entertainment Group

Our favorite grouchy girl died today

Today is a sad day, because it is the day Grumpy Cat died. Also known as my personal favorite feline celebrity, Grumpy Cat died from complications following a urinary tract infection. The super relatable cat—real name, Tardar Sauce—was only seven years old.

Grumpy Cat was first introduced to the world in 2011, back when LOLcats were everywhere. Grumpy Cat's downturned face (the result of feline dwarfism, according to her owners) was the subject of a huge amount of memes—she was even the 2013 Meme of the Year at the Webby Awards—and was the subject of her own Lifetime movie, in which she was voiced by the Grumpy Cat of actresses, Aubrey Plaza. But, though we loved her for the memes, we loved her even more because we related to her mood.

Grumpy Cat was so relatable because, like us, she was completely over everyone's bullshit. Unlike us, Grumpy Cat didn't hide her feelings with a smile. And while that was because Grumpy Cat literally couldn't do that, we like to think that she also just didn't want to do the emotional labor. Which is why, in honor of Grumpy Cat, have the courage to roll your eyes at someone today, instead of forcing a fake grin. And just think about how Grumpy Cat's probably frowning at us from some sort of kitty afterlife, utterly annoyed that everyone is mourning her death.

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Screenshot via YouTube

And I need to see the rest ASAP

As excited as we already are for Olivia Wilde's directorial debut, Booksmart, to hit theaters next week, we just got even more desperate to see it. Why? Well, the first six minutes of the film were just released, and every minute is incredible.

The film opens on Molly (Beanie Feldstein) meditating and listening to a motivational tape telling her she's better than everyone else, and to "fuck those losers." Her room is decorated with pictures of Michelle Obama and RBG, so we know her head is in the right place. We learn she's the class president when she arrives at school with her best friend, Amy (Kaitlyn Dever).

It's there that we get a glimpse of the social hierarchy in which Molly and Amy exist—but somewhere down near the bottom, way below the popular kids, the theater nerds, the stoners, and even the annoying class clown.

The film officially hits theaters on May 23, but Annapurna Pictures is holding advanced screenings across the country today, May 17—we're actually holding two of them! So, if you're in L.A. or New York, check them out.

But also, you can watch the first six minutes of the film, below, and prepare yourself to watch the whole movie in a week.

BOOKSMART | Uncut First 6 Minutes www.youtube.com

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