Esoteric Music

  • #1
This is just a thread to post info on some "out there" bands. We're not talking about bands that you can hear on the local radio stations (not counting public or college radio), but rather stuff that is really only passed on by word-of-mouth.

I post this because I've got such a varied taste in music that I love getting exposed to new stuff. I've got to presume that there are others out there like me.

A few to get things started:

Filthy Divine. A Minneapolis band fronted by a woman whose voice ranges from rough to... well... divine. A little bit of pop, a little bit of punk, a little bit of disco, a little bit of experimental. Really, you've just got to listen to the CD to decide what you think of them. This is Filthy Divine is currently their only CD (though they are currently working in the studio), and is on iTunes.

Coheed and Cambria. Okay, so the band is really popular in certain circles, but since there aren't many radio stations that play their stuff, there are others who haven't even heard of them. Coheed is a concept, "prog-rock" band. Like with Filthy Divine, the only way to get an idea of their music is to listen to it. Welcome Home is a killer rock tune, while Wake Up and Always and Never are (disturbingly) sweet.

Crash Test Dummies. Most of you who remember this band from the 90's are groaning right now. Give them a chance. MmmmMmmmMmmmMmmm was an okay example of their music, but doesn't give them credit for the depth of their music. The entire album of God Shuffled His Feet is extremely thought-provoking if you even half pay attention to it.
They also have an absolutely amazing Christmas album.

Cruxshadows. Another thought-provoking band. It's darkwave, and definitely appeals to the goth crowd, but it's not all (or even mostly) depressing stuff. It's actually very enlightening and uplifting.

Yosefa. A Middle-Eastern band with an absolutely gorgeous sound.

More will come as this thread (hopefully) grows.
  • #2
Eh thought provoking?

I'd add:
Dead Can Dance (and Brendon Perry and Lisa Gerrard's solo work)
Extremely dynamic. Lisa Gerrards simply has an otherworld-ly voice while Brandom Perry offers a distinct sombre baritone. The music ranges from 13th century traditionals to classical to some pop influence. Highly recomended live!

Comprised of Azam Ali, an Iranian born (raised in India) vocalist and American percussionist Greg Ellis. Beautiful vocals and vivid percussions, the music is usually Indian, Middle Eastern or Eastern European influenced. Azam AlI is also an accomplished hammered dulcimer player which often shines in the music.

More world music with very rich soundscapes

Anoushka Shankar
Daughter of sitar legend RavI Shankar. Anoushka plays outstanding sitar as well and while the early material is mainly written by her father-her newer material is all original. A good gateway to Indian music for some since her own material has some electronica influence.

Of the Wand and the Moon
Very minimalist folk music. The songs are quite simple, the vocals monotone (but so effective). The drone of this music is the equivalent of being able to stare into a campfire for hours.

Devil Doll
The asthetics of vintage horror, classical literature, dynamic orchestras all fronted by Mr. Doctor - the man of a thousand voices. Each album is 1 song, usually around 70min in length. Truely enveloping and maddening. Best listened, eyes closes with headphones in a dark room as it demands your full attention. You will become absorbed.

A wonderful ambient band. Often medival European or Middle Eastern in nature. The songs can range from being beautiful to some creating an incredibly oppressive atmosphere.

Extremely epic (and I hate that word) music. Heavily influenced by Wagner, the songs are generallly classical with bombastic percussion. This creates a wall of sound that makes you just want to swing a sword (lol!). Big plus for fantasy fans the lyrics are often based on books and often songs will contain quotes from radio productions of said books. However most people cannot get past that the orchestrations as they are all done by keyboard and vocals are very low in the mix. These aspects just add the uniqueness of this band in my opinion.

The first to use heavy electronic instrumentation in classical music in the 60s and 70s. The Heaven and **** album is a great example of something so unique and unheard of at the time (and to this day). His later material is more purely classical though still retains the power and innovation of his early work. Probably a good stepping stone for people not that into classical music.

Loreena McKennit
A unique blend of traditional Irish with Middle Eastern and Eastern European. Wonderful compositions and great story telling. There is a certain honesty in her voice that makes the songs that much appealing. The songs range from lively jigs and middle-eastern flourishes to truely pensive and sombre pieces.

What you get when you mix acid folk of 1971 and pagan/hedonistic atmosphere. The music is both harmonic and dissonant with male and female vocals acting in ghoulish glory. Just acoustic guitars, flute and fiddle - the songs are filled with macabre and sickening imagry and there's something just so odd about the music that makes First Utterance so unique.
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
I wouldn't really consider Loreena McKennit esoteric (on radio and in movie soundtracks), but it's been awhile since she was on the radio, and she's a wonderful singer, so we'll let it slide
  • #4
Ah...for some reason I was misreading this thread title as "ecclectic" and was thinking more thought-provoking rather than 'out there.' Too lazy to type up another list hah!
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Yeah, the basic point was to expose people to music (or at least band names) that they wouldn't normally run into (so Loreena McKennit probably fits really well... I was just giving you grief )
  • #6
I love Loreena McKennit

I'd like to suggest DobaCaracol. Two Quebecois girls and their band. Not sure if they qualify as 'esoteric' as all their music's in French which I don't speak . Mix of folksy, pop and ethnic African-tribal-type inspiration (in French! which doesn't affect listen-ability), it is really catchy stuff.
  • #7
Loreena McKennit = The Lady of Shalott ?
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Yes indeed. One of my wife's favorite songs.

Which brings up another great artist:
Emilie Autumn
She is an excellent singer and violinist (and has a knack for theatrics in her shows). She has written songs that revolve around poetry and theater (including the Lady of Shallot and Romeo and Juliet).


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