20 Essential Modern Goth Songs | Revolver

20 Essential Modern Goth Songs

Embrace the gloom with Cold Cave, Chelsea Wolfe, Adult. and more
chelsea wolfe crop early, Krist Mort
photograph by Krist Mort

When goth rose from the ashes of punk rock back in the late Seventies, it spoke to a universal fear and despair in youth culture at the time: economic stagnation was widespread, the Cold War was still a thorny prick in the world's side, and bands like Bauhaus, the Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and (though they strictly deny it) Sisters of Mercy famously echoed this dread in their angst-filled songs and pitch-black apparel.

Obsession with death and sadness isn't new or particularly unique to goth, but the style might be the most recognizable, culturally pervasive and malleable creative manifestation of our morbid fascinations. From the perfect placement of Bauhaus' anthem "Bela Lugosi's Dead" in 1983 erotic vampire film The Hunger (starring David Bowie) to the Nineties Hot Topic-inspired scene to millennial pophip-hop artistsfashion lines and much more — goth's moody sounds and enticingly dark vibes are perennial favorites all throughout the cultural landscape.  

Below is a selection of songs from the more recent era – all released in the last five years – of goth and its adjacent genres (darkwave, cold wave, industrial, EBM) that carry on the black torch for those who will never outgrow their penchant for the dark side.