Whether they churn out heavy tunes or are of the black-eyeliner mystical-witch variety, these ten ladies have the ability to get us in the mood for some Halloween enchantment.
While some like Shirley Manson and Courtney Love aren’t typically considered “goth,” these women bring a dark, sexy swagger to just about everything they do. They also aren’t afraid of speaking their minds, donning ripped black fishnets, and not caring what “the man” has to say.
Because, if anything, goth is not necessarily some depressing life choice but a way to embrace your darkness with intelligence, grace, and skull-accessories. Just like many of these women do.
“Tourniquet“- Amy Lee
Amy’s piercing gray peepers are the definition of jeepers creepers! She’s also singlehandedly responsible for making petticoats totally hot. Her haunting voice makes this already eerie song goose-bump inducing.
“Doll Parts”– Courtney Love
In the way that Amy Lee made Victorian bustles and collars hot, Courtney prompted all of us to run out and buy all of the silk prom dresses and combat boots we could find. Her gravelly voice still rocks our boots off. How does one smear their lipstick just so?
“Violently Happy”– Bjork
Undoubtedly one of the best vocalists of our time, this petite swede songstress came from anarch-punk gothic roots (check out one of her first bands: KUKL.) Bjork has continued to mesmerize with her bizarre getups and unique voice since her humble punk beginnings. She is definitely an icon, influencing the likes of Karen O, Massive Attack, and Radiohead.
“Come Here Boy”– Imogen Heap
She might not be your typical goth goddess, but this ethereal beauty conjures up the darkness with the best of them! This 1998 single gives you a glimpse into this former Frou Frou member’s inner turmoil. Spooky!
“I’m Only Happy When It Rains“- Shirley Manson
This crimson mouthed rocker reigns queen bee of alternative. Shirley’s gaze pierces straight through you and her sultry voice can summon your darkest demons. We love this sensual Scot and we’re so excited that Garbage is back!
“Spellbound”– Siouxsie and The Banshees
If Robert Smith, king of goth, is in your band for a little while does that automatically make you queen of goth? Does it help that you both have the same haircut? Siouxsie influenced the everyone from Bono to Pj Harvey to The XX to Garbage. Seriously, what else is there to say really about The Banshees’ music? It freakin rocks!
“Dreams”– Stevie Nicks
Stevie is the unofficial patron saint of bohemian goths everywhere. She is truly old school cool. Known for her mystical image, she’s always adorned in billowing chiffon skirts, shawls, layers of lace, and flowing winged sleeves. Her boho-goth image is largely attributed to Margi Kent, a California designer who has been working with Stevie since the 1970s to perfect her look.
“Rich”– Karen O
Only Karen O can make a song about cartography a brooding masterpiece. She’s a chameleon in both music and personal style. Her songs range from wailing thrashers like “Y Control” to sweet ballads like “Worried Shoes”. With her signature pageboy haircut, bold red lips, and ever-evolving wardrobe, Karen has inspired girls of all ages to stay weird.
“Love Song For A Vampire”– Annie Lennox
To this day, some of us still wish we could rock a bright white buzz cut as well as Annie Lennox does. Her soulful voice has an amazing darkness that makes all of her songs sound breathtaking. We love Annie’s devotion to humanitarian causes around the world. It makes her goth-ness even more meaningful. There’s a lot of things in this world to brood about, but it’s even better if you do something about them too!
“Want It Back”– Amanda Palmer
There has been a storm of controversy surrounding Miss Palmer lately, but it just because she’s a badass. Her voice is totally unique, her attitude is completely punk rock, and her eyebrows (or lack thereof) are totally goth. We love her music, her style, and her brashness.
-Robyn Luttrell, CBS Radio Los Angeles