The Future of Goth Music


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On June 15, 1979, Goth band, Joy Division, released its debut album, Unknown Pleasures. Since then, this album tore every listener’s heart out, either leaving them sad or causing them to identify with the tortured croons of despair and darkness.  The rush of emotionally charged cries for help have become popular in many artists lyrics. Now, the lyrics have transcended the underground scene to mainstream Hip Hop music.

In terms of Hip Hop, the dark aesthetic overtook a decent portion of the genre with Eminem in 1997 with The Slim Shady LP. Eminem employed a small arsenal of depressing and technical lyrics to break from the then gangster image most Hip Hop artists portrayed. This LP peeled back the layers encasing very complex and emotional beings, helping to make the entire experience of listening more personal and potentially identifiable. Suddenly, the emotional side of Hip Hop, lying dormant until its second coming in 2007 with group, Odd Future, became the forefront for relatably emotional music.This group created a cult following of angsty teens to help elevate them to their current stardom with lyrics from Tyler, the Creator, and Earl Sweatshirt, about loneliness and growing up with the same problems as any other troubled teen.

Now, in 2017, many emotion-focused groups thrive, with devoted fan bases. New artists are popping up everywhere with gothic lyrics, such as Lil Peep, and record labels like G59 and Team Sesh are becoming more legitimate by the day. Where will the subgenre go in the future? It seems like the immense spike in popularity may lead to a burn out, like trap music. Fortunately, the sub genre relies on raw human emotion rather than a commonly shared fantasy. This can lead to either a spike in boringly similar lyrics or a new level of  complexity and description for one of the world’s scariest things- emotions. Hopefully, the direction this type of Hip Hop takes will not result in it burning out, but in today’s music atmosphere only time can tell.