In the late 70’s Punk movement started out which led to the popularity of the Gothic Music. It helped Gothic Music to become a distinct entity in the music genres. Darkwave music, which was a fairly new term, is a branch that refers to the Gothic music. Darkwave is a result of cross-pollination of the Goth-rock genre with Synth Pop and Dream Pop genre.
Darkwave music is more introspective, emotional, moody, and artistic. It is a mixture of ethereal and dark ambient music. Its music is gloomiest of nature, with an undertone of sorrow. Darkwave genre features music with slower tempos, deeper vocals and intense lyrical content. Often the words of the song will be drowned by the heavy music that will be played upon. Another feature of Darkwave music was, most of the singers are female.
Gradually, Darkwave music changed its course. Over the decades, it has modified. It will not be justifiable to say that Darkwave actually went away. It never went away, just made an undercover to the so-called “the Music industry,” where it is fitted best. Currently, Darkwave does not have the same façade anymore, yet it has retained all its defining characteristics, with all its darkness and sorrow.
Modern Rock evolved from Darkwave music. The transforming phase consists of several new genres to be evolved such as Ethereal wave and Dark ambient wave which is a subset of Darkwave music. It started evolving in late 70’s, gained its peak in the 80’s, and several new dozens of genres generated which later resulted in Next Wave era.
The late 90’s saw an era of regaining back of Darkwave’s popularity. This rose with the success of Switchblade Symphony plus Sam Rosenthal’s group Black Tape for a blue Girl. Many artists in this genre now displayed wave-atypical influences, with electronic dance and downtempo music. They incorporated trip hop and drum & bass rhythms. Under ambiguity, “Dark wave “was used occasionally to describe darkly themed electronic rock artists that were not related to the Darkwave genre of music.
The important and influential Darkwave bands, which played a crucial role in spreading Darkwave music to the masses, are the Bauhas, The Cure, Joy Division, Sisters of Mercy, She Wants Revenge. These helped Darkwave to gain popularity and still retain the same.
In the late 2000’s, Darkwave has included dark electronics artists such as Cold Cave, who actively combine electronic music with dark aesthetics and themes. Other Darkwave music continues with their earlier trend, along with some evolution addition to this. This decade showed the revival of Dark wave sound infused with post-punk genres.
With the help of these, the popularity of this genre saw a revival in recent years. We can conclude Darkwave music is very much unique in its nature, and due to its uniqueness, it has retained its popularity over the decades.
Though evolution has occurred in the Dark Wave Music genre, it has still managed to maintain their brooding and sorrowful brand of music, so even today also; Darkwave music remains as relevant as ever.