Top Ten List of Female Goth Lead Singers
The Women Have Arisen
For centuries, In an over-populated musical world of men, most of the extremely talented women have been left in the shadows...in the dust. However, within the past thirty years, strong female musicians have emerged. They are rising out of the musical grave that we as women have been burried in for hundreds of years. Don't believe me? Well, let's think about the time when Beethoven or Mozart were alive and producing their classic masterpieces...do you ever really hear of a woman in that time period who was just as successful and talented as these men? Well, I haven't! I am almost positive that they existed, though...they were never given credit or maybe never given the means in which to compose and produce.
Specifically in the area of rock 'n roll and punk music, within the past thirty years, there seems to be a wave of hot and super-talented goth women growing in leadership roles within the world of music...more particularly in rock music. Classic rock, punk rock, and goth rock have all seen their share of amazingly talented and brilliant ladies who just so happen to also be gothic in one way or another. In this list, I will provide you with my top ten talented goth leading ladies...from the eighties to present day. Enjoy and feel free to leave a comment if I have left out your favorite musical goth lady!
1. Siouxsie Sioux
Any classic goth girl will know the name Siouxsie Sioux. Well, not just know the name but revere the name. Siouxsie Sioux, widely known for her musical work in the band Siouxsie and the Banshees, takes the number one spot in my heart for leading goth female musician. Joined by her "Banshees" in this legendary post-punk band of eighties' fame, songs such as "Halloween" and "Kiss Them For Me" have had more than a huge effect on the goth and punk scenes...they have had a lasting effect.
Siouxsie Sioux started out with her band in London and caught the attention of many punksters with her glam punk and bondage-like attire. Siouxsie and the Banshees quickly gained popularity and ended up taking the punk scene in the eighties by storm...with Siouxsie being their fearless and risk-taking leader. She went on with her band to produce eleven hit-making albums and as a side project did some musical collaboration with The Smiths.
Siouxsie Sioux has influenced many bands and genres of music since her glory days with the Banshees. Some bands that claim her as their muse include: Massive Attack, The Cure, and LCD Soundsystem. Aracade Fire, the recent Grammy winner, suggested for Devotchka to cover "The Last Beat of My Heart", with pretty decent success.
The latest and notable work from Siouxsie, the Queen of Punkdom, is her solo album titled Mantaray. The press stated that this album was pure pop and that Siouxie herself "is pop". I think you and I know differently, though...no matter how one labels Siouxsie Siouxe one thing is for certain...she is fierce and paved the way for many modern day goth female musicians.
2. Johnette Napolitano
I would like to take this time to say, thank you, Johnette. Thank you for the classic and romantic vampire song that all old school vampire-lovers still cannot help but hum...not just on Halloween but all year long! Johnette and her band, Concrete Blonde, released the song "Bloodletting" back in 1990...spawning a vampire obsession and trend to arise within the rock n' roll subcultures that America had most likely never seen before...reminding fans of the classic eighties' vamp movies such as The Lost Boys and Fright Night. In addition to the popular and brilliant "Bloodletting", Concrete Blonde's "Your Haunted Head" was featured in the classic horror sequal Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. One of their other popular songs, "Joey", was re-made by the modern country band Sugarland in 2009.
But that Johnette...if you have not watched her in the Bloodletting video...you simply must. She is like a dark and lacey dream with a raspy, sexy voice. She definitely makes you think "she may be a vampire", and her talent seems supernatural.
Chibi is the lead singer of the Canadian gothic industrial band, The Birthday Massacre. As a teenager, I had the ultimate privilege of seeing The Birthday Massacre live at a small venue in Ybor City, Tampa, FL. Going to the venue, I was not sure how the band would sound or if they would be any good at all...gee, was I blown away! Chibi comes out on stage, sort of looking like an anime character (her name is an anime name) and I think...okay, maybe I'll leave shortly. Then the band started to play the song Blue, from their album Violet, and I never wanted their performance to end!
Chibi sucks you in with her sweet poppy-sounding verses and then blows your hair back with her goblin-like choruses. I say that she is gothic industrial's top lead singer on the market today. She sort of reminds me of a mixture of Amy Lee and Johnette Napolitano...but in a class and type all her own. When interviewed and asked what inspires her, she claims that power ballads (such as ballads done by the hair metal 80's bands like Cinderella and Skid Row) and books. She is an avid reader and prefers to read over watching television...that's my kinda gal! She is also inspired by period books, specifically Edwardian and Victorian periods...which undoubtedly contributes to her gothic style. Check out the picture of her in the gorgeous purple organza ball gown to the right (via ruemorgue.com).
Chibi is a great example of the type of strong and talented goth woman that the music scene is in desperate need of. She is an inspiration to many young goth girls trying to make it in the music business today, and with good reason. Check out The Birthday Massacre's music on iTunes...if you like industrial, you will not be disappointed.
4. Tina Root
Tina, Tina, Tina. She takes the coffin-cake as my number four favorite female goth musician for one specific reason...Switchblade Symphony's "Dissolve". This song is dark yet it puts me into an instant trance every time it unexpectedly, yet pleasantly, pops up on my ipod. The musical composition makes me feel like I am floating within a different atmosphere, and Tina's enchanting voice just adds to the mystery and brilliance of this song.
As of late, Tina has been focusing her energy on her solo career, as Tre Lux. On her newest album, A Strange Gathering, she cleverly and boldly puts a darker twist on Coldplay's "Yellow" and Sound Garden's "Black Hole Sun". And you thought it wouldn't be possible to put a darker spin on Blake Hole Sun? Well, Tina Root has made it possible and totally enjoyable. The rest of the album has familiar songs that are covered by Tina's sweet voice that many people, not just gothic people, can enjoy. Basically, if you are a fan of female rock...you will be a fan of Tina Root (a.k.a. Tre Lux).
Gen from the super horrifying, and limit-pushing, Orlando goth group, The Genitorturers. I am not even sure what her real name is...she seems to do a fantastic job of keeping her real identity hidden from the public eye. This is a lady who lays it all out on the line...and leaves her energy and twisted-thoughts behind her on the stage. If you want to experience an extreme and distorted live show, check this gothic queen out in all her glory!
I actually had a teacher at art school that was one of Gen's fashion designers and all of the outfits that were constructed for Gen's shows were insanely gothic...pleather, latex, big boots...the works. Gen is not afraid to show her freaky side during her shows and through every single recorded lyric on the Genitorturers' albums.
6. Free Dominguez
If you are familiar with the Kidney Thieves' industrial brilliance, then you will be more than a fan of Free Dominguez. This beautiful and strong lady is the lead singer for this group. Looking at pictures of Free lately does not really convey a "gothic" woman, per se; however, one is only but to listen to a snippet of the Kidney Thieves' song "Before I'm Dead" and will agree that she has an awareness to the darker side of life. Not only is Free aware of the darker side, she uses the darker moments in life as inspiration for her creativity, in the form of music. "Before I'm Dead" can be heard on the soundtrack for Queen of the Damned. How fitting. Kidney Thieves also compiled a soundtrack song for the infamous Bride of Chucky movie. The song choice for this humorous horror movie was "Crazy", a re-make of Willie Nelson's original version.
After being together with Kidney Thieves' guitarist, Bruce Somers, for almost eleven years, Free has broken off on her own...gained her own "Free-dom", if you will. Free's new indie project can be followed at http://www.freedominguez.com/home.htm. She has actually recorded a set of demo songs from her very own bedroom. She states that the album's imperfections are noticeable, but that the imperfections make the album perfect. Isn't that the same for life? The imperfections make life perfect. And Free Dominguez...she is the perfect gothic lady.
7. Lady Galore
If you have ever been to a gothic industrial party or nightclub, you will surely have heard a Lords of Acid song...and who is the lead singer of this goth industrial giant? None other than the ravishing and in-your-face Lady Galore. Ladies and gentlement...Lady Galore and the Lords of Acid's music is not a friendly and conservative type. This band is a hardcore partying disco-industrial band with a gothic, gorgeous female in the lead.
Lady Galore's risk-taking vocals can also be heard in the music of My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, another well-known and loved gothic industrial group.
"She had a little creepy cat and a little creepy bat. Little rocking chair and an old blue hat. This little creepy girl, oh she loves to sing," Kerli sings in Walking On Air. This estonian pop artist does not seem POP in the least to me! With her white-blonde hair and beautiful facial features, she sure could pass for another Lady Gaga, but she is much much different than that. While her songs are definitely on the pop side of the river, her style and personality is on the direct opposite end of the spectrum.
In her video for "Walking on Air", Kerli can be seen wearing a full-on gothic lolita get-up. I have never seen a pop star dress in gothic lolita garb, at least not as long as I've been alive! Yes, Gwen Stefani did try to pull off the Harajuku girl look; however, that didn't totally pan out for her. Kerli's costumes seem to fit her...in more than just a size category. They seem to fit her personality and outlook towards life. If you're not into the gothic doll thing, check out Kerli's video for "Love is Dead." This song and video is on the darker side and shows Kerli transforming from a beautiful young gothic maiden to an old hag...literally.
Even if you are not a pop kind of person, Kerli is worth checking out...she shows us that goth can be glamorous and can span the musical bridges to cover all areas of the industry...even pop.
9. Jessicka Fodera
Jessicka Fodera is the lead singer in the amazingly talented, mostly female band, Jack Off Jill. This band is a native Floridian band and got a start opening shows for fellow native Floridian and friend, Marilyn Manson, back in 1992. My favorite Jack Off Jill song is most definitely "Strawberry Gashes". This band kicked some major arss on the goth music scene, for who else would be dark enough to open for Marilyn Manson himself?
Nowadays, Jessicka can be seen singing for the L.A. based band, Scarling. She has made appearances at different fashion shows and events in America and in Europe and she continues to be her pleasantly gothic self with each passing year. She almost reminds me of someone you would see in a Tim Burton film...a gothic rock angel. I chose her for my number nine not just because of her looks, but also because of her musical talent and creative ability. She seems to shine, if gothic people even use that word, in every musical project she takes on. Check her out for yourself...iTunes sells Jack Off Jill's music and you can always consult youtube for a few videos of their performances.
10. Amy Lee
Ahh, those piercing blue eyes. Wow, Amy seems not only to sing to the deepest part of me but her eyes seem to delve into the deepest part of me. Yes, I realize that many people are worn out on the whole Evanescence thing...as am I; however, you have to admit that Amy Lee's bewitching voice could have anyone in a trance...even if she is singing "Bring Me To Life." The notes this lady can hit! We could say that Amy Lee is probably the most famous gothic rock lead singer of our time. She definitely managed to climb the charts as the front for Evanescence...with good reason. The talent that this lady possesses cannot be denied. Whether she is truly gothic, I could not tell you, but she does seem to give off an air of sadness and mourning...a vibe that only true goths bring to the table.
Written and copyright KittytheDreamer (May Canfield), 2013. All Rights Reserved.