* COOZER PICK *
I’m a sucker for good soft-goth. Not the scary industrial stuff or corny Evanescence nu-metal, but the broody-but-bouncy, upbeat-though-downcast 80s sound. If you think about it, this genre is all but gone. I can’t think of anything in the past 15 years that has come close to this classic sound, outside of the occasional new Cure or Morrissey release that I haven’t bothered with.
But here is Nite Nite, sounding like a modern, accessible Siouxsie & the Banshees. This is a self-released album from a band I never heard of, and they’ve managed to produce great soft-goth/pop-goth that you won’t be embarrassed to admit you like.
First and foremost, the vocals are perfect. Sarah-Brooks Levine’s voice is lovely and has just enough bite — she doesn’t try to be too sultry, overdramatic, or menacing, which are big pitfalls among other female-fronted bands in this genre. (Goth becomes dated quickly – even classic Switchblade Symphony albums now sound more camp than vamp.)
The music follows the same philosophy – a happy, energetic take on the macabre. Synths and echoey effects are prominent, but upbeat, shuffling drums and the Deborah Harry-ish vox put this music more on the dancefloor than in the graveyard.
The pop sensibility isn’t just in execution, but in songwriting, and even on a first listen I couldn’t find anything forgettable. This is an incredibly strong album from relative unknowns in a forgotten genre.
Bottom Line: Soft-goth you can clap your hands to. Really!
Notable Tracks: Black Noise, Bury Me, In A Dream, Hello I’m Melancholy, Clear As A Bell, What They Do Not Know