Summer of Darkness/Steel Pan Explosion

Have you noticed a lot of new music these days adopting a darker, gothic aesthetic? Take Toronto's much-hyped Austra for example, who on their first release Feel it Break, succeed in creating a haunting mix of dark sythy pop:

Austra - Lose It

Last year was a breakout year for a similarly haunting female vocalist going by the stage name of Zola Jesus. Her sound is less pop and draws more from industrial influences:

Zola Jesus - Night

Predating both Zola and Austra, The Knife's Fever Ray released her critically-aclaimed self-titled album.

Fever Ray - Keep The Streets Empty

There has also been a barrage of music, specifically pop and R n' B, being remixed to shed is glossy sheen and subsequently coaxed into darker waters. Take Klaar's remix of Aaliyah's One in a Million:

Aaliyah - One in a Million (Klaar Remix)

Or in Salem's case, taking a recent Britney Spears hit, and slowing it down to a spooky warble, the ghostly words "dance until the world ends," taking on an an eerie apocalyptic meaning in this new context:

Salem - Til The World Ends

The Steel Pan is making waves in 2011 also, most recently forming an important part of Jamie XX's remix of the huge Adele hit Rolling In the Deep:

Adele - Rolling in The Deep (Jamie XX Shuffle Remix)

One of my favorite groups to come out last year was Tanlines, they made wide use of the Steel Pan sound both in their own sound and in their remixes:

Glasser - Apply (Tanlines Remix)

Other "indie" groups such as The Tough Alliance and El Guincho have also used the Steel Pan to great effect, adding a summery, tropical tone to their sound.

One must now ask "what next? Dark summery gothic r 'n b steel pan music?" Maybe:

Fatima Al Qadiri x Keri Hilson (Total Freedom Edit)

Fatima Al Qadiri x keri Hilson (Total Freedom Edit) by matttamblyn

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