Miscellaneous Playlists

Reel-to-Reel Presents: “Animal House”

The Best 7 Years of Your Life

So, 7 years of college down the drain…what now? Might as well join The Peace Corps.

Big, bawdy, raunchy, ribald, and surprisingly heartfelt, 1978’s “National Lampoon’s Animal House,” or simply just “Animal House” brings us back to the deceptively simple year of 1962.

Miscellaneous Playlists

Reel-to-Reel Presents: “Grosse Pointe Blank”

High stakes, high stress, high-powered rifles and…high school? 

That’s the life of American assassin Martin Q. Blank.

Face it, returning to the hallowed halls of our respective high schools is a nauseating thought for most of us. 

And in that respect, he’s no different from the rest of us. 

Miscellaneous Playlists

Reel-to-Reel Presents: “Almost Famous”

“Experience it. Enjoy it. Just don’t fall for it.”

– Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Lester Bangs in “Almost Famous” (Crowe, 2000)

There are very few words in the English language to express just how important “Almost Famous” is to me; in the immortal words of Bad Company, “it’s all part of my rock and roll fantasy.” 

To a little girl who grew up on her dad’s rock albums, there was nothing more whimsical than the idea of being whisked away by a band. But I never wanted to be Penny Lane; I always wanted to be William Miller or, even better, Lester Bangs. 

Miscellaneous Playlists

Reel-to-Reel Presents: Hello, I’m…Johnny Knoxville?

How can you immediately spot someone who’s jumped a dirt bike off a homemade ramp? Play the Minutemen’s “Corona” in a crowd. 

Fronted by Johnny Knoxville and supported by a motley crew of Chris Pontius, Steve-O, Ryan Dunn, Jason “Wee Man” Acuña, Dave England, Preston Lacey, Ehren McGhehey, and formerly Bam Margera, among others, “Jackass” started with humble DIY roots on MTV and blossomed into a seven-film franchise, give or take a few. 


Chef’s Quick Bite of Reggae

Howdy. Because I spent my week watching too many movies and TV shows, I quickly became distracted by their soundtracks. One of my favorites of this week was the classic Jamaican film, “Rockers”.

In “Rockers“, I was introduced to a wide variety of new Jamaican reggae sounds, so I set out to make a little playlist with a ix of my old and new favorites within this genre.

I know Spring and Summer are quite a long ways off, but to get your mind ready for pleasant vibes, I have a collection of delightful dub for your ears to feast upon.

Most notable new sounds (for me) on this playlist are The Heptones and Inner Circle. Both bands are staples in the reggae diet as they are inspirations to bands around the reggae scene and the world.

In reggae, dub, ska and rocksteady, I love the chaotic and smooth combinations of a wide variety of instruments. The reggae bands in “Rockers” are all smiles and rely on blissful beats. The music talks about injustice and wishes for the good times to come around via the end of corruption.

If you feel so inclined to vibe with some reggae classics, below is an embedded Spotify link to a smattering of chill vibrations:

Blog Miscellaneous Playlists

WKNC’s Top Tracks, Artists, and Albums of 2023

Welcome to the 4th annual roundup of this series, where we asked WKNC’s DJs and Staff to submit their 3 favorite tracks, artists, and albums of 2023!

You can check out each staff member’s Spinitron through the link in their name, to see all their sets and all of the other music they’ve been playing on WKNC, as well as their Instagram or other contacts if they chose to link those.

As always, you can check out the playlist on our Spotify page.

*Denotes songs not available on Spotify.

Erie/valkerie; General Manager, DJ

  • Fever Ray – Carbon Dioxide
  • Tzusing – Balkanize
  • MarAxe – Demon
  • The National
  • Sylvan Esso
  • Setaoc Mass
  • Fever Ray – Radical Romantics
  • Tzusing – Green Hat
  • Snow Strippers – April Mixtape 3

Eilee/space cadet; Promotions Director, DJ

  • Kitchen – Fall
  • Car Colors – Old Death
  • Greg Mendez – Goodbye/Trouble
  • Kitchen
  • The Wrens
  • Wednesday
  • Kitchen – Breath Too Long
  • Wednesday – Rat Saw God
  • Greg Mendez – Greg Mendez

Isabella/BEL$; Daytime Music Director, DJ

  • MSPAINT – Titan of Hope
  • feeble little horse – Freak
  • Pinkshift – Lullaby
  • Joyce Manor
  • Sweet Pill
  • Turnstile
  • feeble little horse – Girl With Fish
  • Truth Club – Running the from Chase
  • MSPAINT – Post-American

William/dj bluegill; Underground Music Director, DJ

  • McKinley Dixon – Beloved! Paradise! Jazz!
  • Dana and Alden – Dragonfly
  • Sufjan Stevens – Will Anybody Ever Love Me?
  • Danny Brown
  • Yussef Dayes
  • Sufjan Stevens
  • McKinley Dixon – Beloved! Paradise! Jazz!
  • Yussef Dayes – Black Classical Music
  • Sufjan Stevens – Javelin

chalcopyrite; Assistant Afterhours Music Director, DJ

  • Material Girl (feat. Childboy) – Mikahel
  • lostrushi – INFINITUDE // UROBOROS
  • Oneohtrix Point Never – Plastic Antique
  • Naked Flames
  • Purity Filter
  • Frost Children
  • Kikuo – Kikuomiku 7
  • Poison Damage – KSA
  • lostrushi – SISTERHOOD

Maddie/cowball; DJ

  • Truth Club – It’s Time
  • Slow Pulp – Cramps
  • Laurel Halo – Belleville
  • Wednesday
  • Cindy Lee
  • Snow Strippers
  • Wednesday – Rat Saw God
  • Xiu Xiu – Ignore Grief
  • Laurel Halo – Atlas

Mason/DJ Crush; DJ

  • Jessie Ware – Begin Again
  • beabadoobee & Laufey – A Night To Remember
  • Chappell Roan – Super Graphic Ultra Modern Girl
  • Florence + The Machine
  • Jessie Ware
  • Rina Sawayama
  • That! Feels Good!
  • The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess
  • This Is Why

Alex/DJ Sles; DJ

  • feeble little horse – steamroller
  • deux visages – cheetah
  • billy woods & kenny segal – Soundcheck
  • julie
  • blue smiley
  • Panchiko
  • feeble little horse – Girl With Fish
  • billy woods & kenny segal – Maps

Sleepyhead/Emi; DJ

  • Lucki – Super Ski
  • Pupil Slicer – The Song at Creations End
  • our eyes go blank tonight – Monster Reserve
  • Lucki
  • Pupil Slicer
  • Dying Wish
  • Lucki –
  • Pupil Slicer – Blossom
  • Dying Wish – Symptoms of Survival

Erik/Erik++; DJ

  • SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE – really happening
  • Läuten der Seele – Molch, Pfütze, Schilf & Stein
  • Yeat – Mysëlf
  • Spirit of the Beehive
  • Playboi Carti
  • Yeat
  • Spirit of the Beehive – I’m so lucky
  • Tara Clerkin Trio – On the turning ground
  • PinkPantheress – capable of love

DJ Hubcap; Board Op, DJ

  • McKinley Dixon – Live! from the Kitchen Table
  • 100 gecs – 757
  • Danny Brown feat. Bruiser Wolf – Y.B.P.
  • Fiona Apple
  • In Love With a Ghost
  • Kero Kero Bonito
  • Screaming Females – Desire Pathway
  • McKinley Dixon – Beloved! Paradise! Jazz!?

rensenware; DJ

  • Camellia – Tempo Katana
  • Camellia – Lost Technologie – Data Scraper (Long Version)
  • Hail the Sun – Mind Rider
  • Us, From Outside
  • Camellia
  • Goreshit
  • Goreshit, Lil Kevo 303 – X61
  • Camellia – Ashed Wings
  • Hail the Sun – Divine Inner Tension

Erin/Pink Milk; DJ

  • Aphex Twin – Blackbox Life Recorder 21f
  • Four Tet – Three Drums
  • Sluice – Fourth of July
  • Yo La Tengo
  • The Magnetic Fields
  • Bladee
  • Parannoul – After the Magic
  • Yo La Tengp – This Stupid World
  • Jeff Rosenstock – HELLMODE

Dante/Wizard of Gore; DJ

  • Odz Manouk – The Last Bastion of the Serpent’s Tongue*
  • Demoniac – La caída
  • Afterbirth – Angels Feast on Flies
  • Odz Manouk
  • Savage Oath
  • Infibulated
  • Odz Manouk – Bosoragazan (Բոսորագազան)
  • Demoniac – Nube negra
  • JPEGMAFIA x Danny Brown – Scaring the Hoes

Annabelle / DJ Big Anthony; DJ

  • Wednesday – Chosen to Deserve
  • Colin Miller – Off the Mountain
  • Lil Yachty – drive ME crazy!
  • Fugazi
  • Sunny Day Real Estate
  • Rick James
  • Lil Yachty – Let’s Start Here.
  • Indigo De Souza – All of This Will End

twerp; DJ

  • BeautyWorld – “Beautycore”*
  • desert sand feels warm at night & Mindspring Memories – “Eighty Four, Zero One”
  • greenhouse – “theriocide”*
  • hoverman
  • Pasocom Music Club
  • Windows 96
  • hoverman – “Wasting Man”
  • BeautyWorld – “Beautiful World”
  • greenhouse – “arc,regn”


  • Initiate – Waste Your Life
  • Jeff Rosenstock – HEAD
  • JPEGMAFIA and Danny Brown – Run The Jewels
  • Circuit Circuit
  • Corrupt Vision
  • Soulkeeper
  • Initiate – Cereberal Circus
  • Jeff Rosenstock – HELLMODE

Ben; Blog Content Creator; DJ

  • Gonemage – Dream Surfing the Astral Corridors
  • Aesop Rock – Salt and Pepper Squid
  • Washer – Answer to Hell
  • Gonemage
  • Washer
  • Screaming Females
  • Rat Saw God
  • Celestial Invocation
  • Desire Pathway

Ezra Kinsch / Poncho Diego; DJ

  • Mutant Strain – “Words Fall”
  • Sheer Mag – “All Lined Up”
  • Electric Chair – “Fatal Disease Pt. II”
  • Van Halen
  • Dark Thoughts
  • Paint Fumes
  • Paint Fumes – Real Romancer
  • Electric Chair – Act of Agression
  • Mutant Strain – Murder of Crows

MJ; Blog Content Contributor

  • MIKE feat. El Cousteau, Niontay – Mussel Beach
  • King Krule feat. Raveena – Seagirl
  • bar italia – my little tony
  • MIKE
  • bar italia
  • King Krule
  • MIKE – Burning Desire
  • Yves Tumor – Praise a Lord Who Chews but Which Does Not Consume; (Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds)
  • King Krule – Space Heavy

DJ Mithrax; DJ

  • KNOWER – I’m The President
  • Battle Tapes – One Night In Burbank
  • Red Vox – Almost A Stranger
  • GUM
  • Battle Tapes
  • GUM – Saturnia
  • Kane Parsons – Backrooms (Original Score), Vol. 2
  • Blur – The Ballad of Darren

Sarah/Scrimble; Board Op, DJ

  • 100 gecs – 757
  • Wednesday – Chosen to Deserve
  • Nicki Minaj – Red Ruby Da Sleeze
  • Tegan and Sara
  • Chappell Roan
  • Ice Spice
  • Chappell Roan – The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess
  • 100 gecs – 10,000 gecs
  • Lil Yachty – Let’s Start Here.

Auxymoron; DJ

  • underscores – “Locals (Girls like us) [with gabby start]”
  • Sufjan Stevens – “Sh*t Talk”
  • Spiritbox – “Cellar Door”
  • Jane Remover
  • Parannoul
  • Model/Actriz
  • underscores – “Wallsocket”
  • Dispirited Spirits – “The Redshift Blues”
  • 100 gecs – “10,000 gecs”

Kelly/ dj kellykares; DJ

  • Machine Girl, Special Interest – Concerning Peace
  • Bktherula – TATTI
  • Steve lacy
  • 100 gecs
  • Eartheater
  • Steve Lacy – APOLLO XXI
  • Rico Nasty – Las Ruinas
  • Death Grips – The Money Store

Reid/Rub.E; DJ

  • Full Body 2 – “nokia login”
  • Tanukichan & Enumclaw – “Thin Air”
  • BrokenTeeth – “138”
  • Cocteau Twins
  • All Natural Lemon & Lime Flavors
  • Subsonic Eye
  • Full Body 2 – “infinity signature”
  • feeble little horse – “Girl with Fish”
  • Unrecovery – “It’s Agreed, My Willing Test”

Justin/JustinTime; DJ

  • Tyler, The Creator – “What a Day”
  • JPEGMAFIA & Danny Brown – “Jack Harlow Combo Meal”
  • Lil Yachty – “drive ME crazy!”
  • Jeff Buckley
  • Elliott Smith
  • Björk
  • JPEGMAFIA & Danny Brown – “Scaring The Hoes”
  • Lil Yachty – “Let’s Start Here.”
  • Black Country, New Road – “Live At Bush Hall”

sai <3 / dirty chai; DJ

  • Little Dragon and April + VISTA – Layers
  • Paradis
  • Khruangbin
  • Little Dragon – Slugs of Love

Zen/Zach; DJ

  • The Brook & The Bluff – “Bluebeard”
  • The South Hill Experiment – “Gabo’s Last Resort”
  • redveil – “captain”
  • The Brook & The Bluff
  • boygenius
  • Daft Punk
  • boygenius – The Record
  • Billy Woods – Maps

Ewan/Eweecorn; DJ

  • Maebi – The Lobotomy
  • Rumskib – Troløs blomst
  • boggio and Key After Key – SENSORY OVERLOAD
  • The Shins
  • Spellcasting
  • Jason Falkner
  • The New Pornographers – Continue as a Guest
  • Maebi – Saudade

johnny ghost; DJ

  • DADDY LONG LEGS – “Street Sermon”
  • Low Cut Connie – “WHIPS AND CHAINS”
  • Miranda and the Beat – “Concrete”
  • Warren Zevon
  • Townes Van Zandt
  • Bob Dylan
  • DADDY LONG LEGS – Street Sermons
  • Low Cut Connie – ART DEALERS
  • The Nude Party – Rides On
Miscellaneous Playlists

I Played Baldur’s Gate 3. Here’s What Music I Think the Companions Would Listen to:

I made the choice (a poor one, perhaps) to finally purchase Baldur’s Gate 3 last month. I have a lot of opinions about it.

But since is, at its core, a music-based platform, I will sublimate my obsession interest in the game into something music-related.

While the plot and gameplay of BG3 is all well and good, what I find to be the most important is the blorbofication of the game’s characters.

Photo by Cederic Vandenberghe on Unsplash

For those unfamiliar with Baldur’s Gate 3, the game allows a player’s PC to travel in the company of several companions who seem specially-tailored to be both intensely likeable (excluding Gale) and intensely attractive.

Through gameplay and interaction, the player can learn more about these new friends (or enemies — or lovers — depending on how you swing things) and build plot-relevant relationships.

That’s all well and good, I suppose.

But beyond all the hours of carefully crafted backstory and world-building infused into BG3’s gameplay, I’m interested in imposing upon these characters my own pretentious personal ideas about music.

Nobody asked, but I will deliver.

The Selection

I digress with a brief disclaimer to highlight that this is, primarily, a joke. However, I stand wholeheartedly by all of these claims.

I also will only be covering the “main cast” of companions, so if anyone was expecting to see what kind of music Scratch or Minthara would listen to, they’ll have to decide that for themselves.

My criteria for making these assessments comes from four main factors:

  1. Personality
  2. Style
  3. Canon
  4. My personal opinions

As an English major, I have a lot of practice in the art of character analysis. As a music fan, I have a lot of experience being force-fed other people’s music opinions.

The intersection of these two realms will yield something interesting, if not accurate.


Lae’zel is a Githyanki Fighter with a Soldier background. If you’re not familiar with DND, those words will mean next to nothing to you. That’s fine. All you need to know is that Lae’zel is the modern man’s tsundere.

If I’m being honest, I struggled the most with this one. Lae’zel is characterized as being both strictly no-nonsense and highly repressed, coming from a highly militaristic society.

At the same time, however, her culture has a strong musical and artistic foundation. Githyanki music is defined as highly variable, though consistently centered around metallic, harsh and strident rhythms.

Cover for “20 Jazz Funk Greats” by Throbbing Gristle

From this perspective, I think Lae’zel’s music taste would follow similar lines. I can see her enjoying weird industrial music as well as brassy jazz.

Bands I can think of that fit this kind of idiosyncratic harshness and experimental irregularity include:

I also think she’d like insanely hard, vigorous metal. Perhaps jazz-metal fusion, like Agabas.


Also known as “God’s Favorite Princess,” Shadowheart is a half-elf Cleric with an Acolyte background.

I was pleased to find that despite my first impressions of her, Shadowheart has proven to be a well-written female character. I adore her, and if it wasn’t my goal to make all the companions fall in love with me, I would probably romance her.

Cover for “Punisher” by Phoebe Bridgers

All the same though, I don’t think her music taste would be all that spectacular. Though her outward personality projects pragmatism, I think she’d find music as an important emotional outlet. So, obviously, she’d be very into girlcore.

I can see her appreciating female artists, specifically. Such as:

I’m definitely taking this too seriously.


i will preface this by stating that I am not a misandrist.

Gale is a human Wizard with a Sage background. He’s also from Waterdeep, as he’s particularly keen on mentioning.

I don’t dislike Gale, per se, but he definitely gives off an air of instability that reminds me of several uncharismatic and overly-confident men I’ve met in my life. While I’m sure that Gale is far from the “fantasy incel” I like to pretend he is for laughs, I do think he’d listen to The Smiths.

Cover for “In the Court of the Crimson King” by King Crimson

As someone who also listens to The Smiths, like recognizes like.

Gale also seems like the kind of person who would give over his heart to enigmatic, long-winded sprawls of progressive rock.

He’d probably smell like patchouli — and another fragrant herb — in real life.


Oh, man. I really do enjoy this mean, fruity little man.

Astarion is a high elf Rogue with a Charlatan background. He’s also a vampire, which despite being extremely obvious, is somehow a surprise to all the other characters.

I consider whether or not someone likes Astarion to be a sort of litmus test. For what exactly, I will not say.

Cover for “Getz/Gilberto” by Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto

Maybe it’s trite to think this, but I see Astarion as being an appreciator of classical music and soft, smooth jazz. I like to think he may even appreciate bossa nova.

He’s 200 years old and probably sick to death of the whole music business, prefering instead just to listen to what “feels nice.”

And yes, I’m fully aware that Neil Newborn has his own Astarion playlist, and that it has “Even Flow” on it.


This is my little brother’s favorite character (because warlocks are cool.)

Wyll is a human Warlock (The Fiend) with a Folk Hero background. He has a stone eye with a heart-shaped pupil, which to me signals to the fact that he’s probably the most well-adjusted companion (and character, perhaps) in the game.

Cover for “Badmotorfinger” by Soundgarden

Though he defines himself as a warrior and monster-slayer (the “Blade of Frontiers,” which is a name he apparently gave himself?), he’s inherently kindhearted and subtly dorky.

This, combined with his red-and-black fashion motif, leads me to think of him as a big fan of dad rock. He’s into alternative sounds, but only really familiar with the more topical names.


An unequivocal representation of peak female character design, Karlach is a Tiefling Barbarian with an Outlander background. She’s also got an infernal engine in her chest, which honestly only adds to her abject hotness.

Cover for “away” by Fromjoy

Karlach is a beacon to angsty ADHD girlies everywhere. While I think she’d honestly just enjoy listening to anything upbeat and fun, I also see her as particularly drawn to heavy music a la Doom Slayer. But perhaps with an emo or nu metal twist.

A special mention goes to the track “Hyperviolence” by Omerta.

Blog Playlists

Anything But the “Monster Mash” – A Halloween Party Playlist

I’m not gonna lie, the “Monster Mash” is a classic.

But like most classics, it’s been absolutely done to death, and the odious stink of its corpse is unbearable to me.

At some point the public decided that the “Monster Mash” was The Only Halloween song, and they proceeded to totally murder it.

Photo by Sabina Music Rich on Unsplash

In response to the public’s brutal slaying of the Monster Mash, I’ve compiled my own selection of retro and campy Halloween tracks for this year’s litany of costume parties.

The Playlist

  • “Dracula’s Daughter” – Screaming Lord Sutch and the Savages
  • “Evil” – 45 Grave
  • “Drac the Knife” – Gene Moss & Fred Ross

From the album “Dracula’s Greatest Hits,” this track is Dracula’s cover of Bobby Darin’s 1958 “Mack the Knife,” but specifically if Dracula was like the dad from Hotel Transylvania.

  • “Absinthe” – The Damned (specifically, this version)
  • “Jekyll and Hyde” – Jim Burgett
  • “Buried Alive” – Radio Werewolf

A musical collective active from 1984 to 1993, Radio Werewolf amassed a cult following (called the “Radio Werewolf Youth Party”) during its highly controversial ritualistic theatrical performances.

The collective’s strange activities led to its placement in Classic Rock Magazine’s “The 25 Weirdest Bands of All Time.”

  • “The House is Haunted” – The Phantom Chords
  • “Dracula Hates Photoshoots” – Messer Chups
  • “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” – The 69 Cats

“Bela Lugosi’s Dead” is a classic. Originally performed by (my beloved) Bauhaus, this cover by The 69 Cats has a jazzy psychobilly slant, making it highly danceable and perfect for a Halloween hootenanny.


Afterhours: Halloween Edition

It is now officially October, which as we all know, means that it is now officially Halloween. Goblins and ghouls stalk the night, among all other sorts of horrific beasts, terrifying monsters, and that will scare the average WKNC blog reader to the point that I will not discuss them.

All this, however, is missing the most important of the season: spooky music recommendations.

“Bandit!” by Turkey

Turkey consists of William Sipos and Fletcher Shears, better known as one half of the Garden. If you know that band, you know their love of the Halloween spirit, and it is exactly as prevalent here.

This song opens and closes with a sample about a gargoyle in the infamous Denver National Airport, setting the tone for many haunted delights. The rest of it carries through, of course – the lo-fi production and old-school breakbeats makes a song that feels like you should’ve found it as an obscure YouTube upload of something from the 90’s. Perhaps a ghost of electronic past…?

“Don’t Look in the Closet” by VHS Head

Continuing on the retro theme, “Don’t Look in the Closet” goes all-in.

VHS Head makes his music out of old VHS tapes, and while not exactly leaning in to the more hauntological parts of that premise, the titular sample does more than enough to conjure your childhood fears of what could be lurking after a long night of trick or treating and subsequently eating way too much candy. He also also doesn’t hide the fact that this was made out of VHS tapes, adding a viewing of your choice of campy 80’s horror movie into that childhood memory. 

To keep it simple, this song is on the more fun side of the Halloween spectrum, and exceeds at doing that.

“Break Yourself (You Can’t Defeat Me) by DJ Rozwell

Combining the Satanic Panic, those shows about the supernatural that were on Discovery Channel for some reason, and swords & sorcery fantasy with instrumental hip hop is something that I think only DJ Rozwell can do.

This track feels like it could easily be a soundtrack to some old roguelike, which is perhaps the highest acclaim I could possibly give it – the album it’s from, “None of This is Real,” is intended to be played on shuffle as a roguelike album. “Break Yourself (You Can’t Defeat Me)” invites you to venture into terrifying crypts to face its lurking creatures… if you dare.

“Blood Magic” by Machine Girl

For me, it’s not a Halloween playlist without Machine Girl. To be completely honest, my own personal bias may be seeping into this specific pick in terms of my favorite albums, but it’s okay because I am statistically the biggest Machine Girl fan at WKNC.

That aside, the influence of horror movies on Machine Girl’s music is always extremely blatant, and that’s just as true here. The lyrics are about as gory as you’d expect from a song from them titled “Blood Magic,” and if any song in this article is the one that’s a straight-up horror movie, it’s this one.

“Epidermis” by Venetian Snares

Time for a throwback to 2003. Breakcore is a term that gets thrown around a lot these days, but this is arguably it in its purest – and most sinister – form. It starts with a simple yet menacing bass synth and sample before the breaks kick in and from then on out, there’s no stopping.

As for the horror, the way Venetian Snares makes sure to emphasize the word “skin” in the most repeated sample along with the iconic “throw your corpse into a pit of vipers” sample makes the song feel like being on the run from a particularly messed up serial killer.

Concluding Thoughts

I hope I have given you at least one new song to add to your Halloween party or perhaps trick or treating porch playlist this October.

There’s plenty out there that summons the forces of evil in audio form, and to me, these are some of the best and spookiest. If you wish to save these dark forces, below is a Spotify playlist of these five songs. Thanks for reading!



Dreamcore: An Ethereal Wave Playlist

What is Ethereal Wave?

Ethereal wave is best understood as “dark fairy music.”

A subgenre of darkwave, ethereal wave is characterized by an atmospheric arrangement of guitar, synths and typically female vocals.

“Atmosphere” means something very specific here; the vibe of ethereal wave is dreamy and psychic like the ash-tinged smoke rippling from the burning end of an incense stick.

The Playlist

  • “In the Presence of the Frost” – Virgine Dramatica
  • “In Dreaming” – Diva Destruction
  • “Green Velvet” – The Shroud

The Shroud projects a paganistic interpretation of the ethereal wave genre.

Calling to mind images of Ophelia, The Shroud embodies the concept of the darkly beautiful feminine.

  • “For A Day” – This Ascension
  • “Drown” – Strange Boutique
  • “Invisible” – Switchblade Symphony

Switchblade Symphony is an iconic band that blends gothic rock with classical music.

Tinged with a cigarette-smoke grunginess, Switchblade Symphony exist as pioneers of female voices in a largely male-centric space.

  • “how it came to be this way” – Autumn
  • “Witches” – Faith & Disease
  • “Alle In Asche” – Mephisto Walz
“The First Release” by Mephisto Walz
  • “The Unshakable Demon” – Autumn’s Grey Solace
  • “City Moon” – Love Spirals Downwards
  • “Hitherto” – Cocteau Twins

Cocteau Twins is a classic ethereal wave band, probably among the first names to come up in association with the genre.

I feel like, for this reason, it’s integral that they be included in this playlist. However, in the name of exploring perhaps lesser-known artists, I’ve relegated them to the latter half of this playlist.

  • “Naturally Cruel” – Mors Syphilitica
  • “Slide” – Cranes
  • “Bare” – Lycia

Lycia demonstrates a multiplicity of styles within the realm of darkwave, electronic rock and ethereal wave.

I first encountered the band through their cold, echoing track “Failure,” which, while not ethereal in the genre-related sense, is unequivocally impactful.

“Bare” illustrates another side of Lycia’s sound, taking their abilities to another level.

Final Thoughts

Ethereal wave is a beautiful genre.

The kind of music best enjoyed on gloomy autumnal evenings, the genre’s lack of mainstream acclaim only serves to hide the massive breadth of artistry within.

For individuals who may not enjoy traditional darkwave, ethereal wave is a great way to break into the genre.