…And we’re back! I had a couple of columns for Janauary that I’d been working on, and which were subsequently lost to computer problems. To kick off February, friend of SF Signal (and SciFi Songster) John Anealio just released his latest song, “Steampunk Girl”, which struck me as a great topic for this week: Steampunk.
The Geek Mom Blog, hosted over on Wired’s website, has an interesting piece about Steampunk music. What caught my eye however, was this statement: “When a band selects “steampunk” on that drop-down box, what does that say? And what can a listener expect to hear? Anything really. Rap, rock, folk, trance- I’ve sampled quite a few tracks in this new genre.” In my own explorations with Geek Music, that’s very true: there’s a lot of variety out there.
To start off, let’s turn to John Anealio, who’s released his latest song, Steampunk Girl, recently. It’s an anomaly in this list, because it takes place in the modern day: it’s not so much a steampunk song than it is something abou the fandom that surrounds the genre. It’s a fun song that has a bit of a different sound for John, filled with bold guitar riffs.
Tom Slatter is a guy who’s been working with Geek Music for a number of years now, and has thrown his efforts wholeheartedly into Steampunk music. This year, he’s doing a song a week, and from the looks of things, it’s going to be a year with a lot of steampunk music. Mother’s Been Talking To Ghosts Again is a really fun song that he’s just released. You can see the rest of his music over on his Bandcamp page.
This is a bit of a cheat, but I think it fits nicely. Analyse was the song used in the end credits of Christopher Nolan’s fantastic (slightly steampunkish) movie, The Prestige. I’ve always felt that the movie fits within the genre nicely, using light touches in a period drama. The song has a typical Thom York quality to it as well, which also lends itself atmospherically to the genre.
This is a fun one, and mainly due to the fantastic steampunk themed music video that the band put together for it. It’s dark, moody, and all around fantastic. Genre-wise, I’m not entirely sure where this sort of song fits: it’s not quite rock, not quite alternative, but that’s sort of where Steampunk fits, isn’t it?
This is a fun song that really feels like something that the Drop Kick Murphys would release. Hard rocking, with a steampunk fixture in all the media that I’ve seen / read: goggles.
Remember how the GeekMom blog said something about getting a little of everything? This group seems to be the leader when it comes to Steampunk music, Abney Park, mixing in a blend of industrial rock with gears. This video is a particularly good taste of not only the band’s music, but their style when it comes to rocking out.
This isn’t so much for a song, but for the effort that this group is putting together. I heard about these guys a while ago, and it looks like something of a steampunk indie-folk rock opera, somewhat along the lines of what Anais Mitchell did with her album Hadestown. Steampunked Civil War soldiers? I’m all ears.
This is by no means a comprehensive list: there’s a couple of other bands out there. Who did I miss, and what are your favorites?