When it comes to claiming classic post-punk bands as an influence, Joy Division and Gang of Four are the blue chip ancestors that most young bands clamor to cite as their inspirations. However, Siouxsie and the Banshees have got to be in serious contention for the #3 spot. Although Siouxsie Sioux is sometimes regarded like the crazy old aunt of post-punk, her legacy casts a huge shadow over the work of people like Zola Jesus, Esben and the Witch, The Birthday Massacre, Selebrities and Bat For Lashes.
Malin Dahlström of Sweden’s Niki and the Dove just might be the strongest echo of Siouxsie to date. Her swooping voice packs the same dark desperation into every syllable that Siouxsie always did, managing to make a plea for a dj to play a certain song sound like a life or death prayer to an indifferent deity. One suspects that Dahlström could read a random encyclopedia entry and make it as dramatic as a howling storm on a dark night.
The other members of the band match Dahlström’s theatrics and even manage to up the ante. Drummer Magnus Böqvist lays down a thunderous cacophony reminiscent of the Banshees’ Budgie, while keyboardist Gustaf Karlöf fills the space between the voice and percussion with dark, quasi-symphonic synth washes and snarls. Between the two of them, Böqvist and Karlöf whip up a ruckus worthy of great Goth bands of past like the Banshees and Sisters of Mercy.
Goth has been one of the more enduring subgenres of rock since Siouxsie Sioux, Robert Smith, and Peter Murphy first discovered black clothes in their wardrobes. As long as there are exciting young bands like Niki and the Dove ready to take up the sound and give it their own twist, the sound has a bright (or would it be more proper to say dark?) future ahead of it.
“DJ, Ease My Mind” is the ninth of twelve tracks on Niki and the Dove’s debut LP, Instinct.
Click here to listen to Instinct on Spotify.