10 essential gothic americana albums

About the list: As you might have realized by now: all the genres, subgenres and labels are not mutually exclusive. In fact, very far from that. It's a jumble without precedent and more a question of not misplacing than placing. Here's a list of essential gothic americana... or something like that.



 Cover Album Artist





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Hilarious Death Blues




Antic Clay

"A slow dark ride across the scorched hide of America. Think Johnny Cash riding a skeletal mule to Hell. Not without moments of beauty and hope, however." This rare double album is, of course, a class act.





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Consider the Birds





David Eugene Edwards went "all in" with 16 Horsepower. Wovenhand has a subdued and introvert sound and expression. "The world will bow / The knees will be broken for those who don't know how". This album is really  strange and enigmatic.





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Low Estate






16 Horsepower

16 Horsepower is the mother of (almost) all “gothic country” bands. Many people regard their second album as their finest hour. With "Low Estate" they raised the bar for "gothic americana" once and for all.






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 Thin & Pale




 The Mountain Apple Epidemic 

Many people will raise their eyebrows when they find this obscure and rare album placed as number four. Nevertheless, it's a correct and well-deserved placement. Trust me, just listen to "A Golden Veil" if you have any doubts.   





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Broken Hymns, Limbs And Skin





This is a very intense album with nasal and high-pitch vocals. It's also dark as the night, like the song "Home": "I'd light a fire beside the skin and dig a hole for bones to lay / Find a sacred resting place where the pecking hens won’t harm the eyes”.





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Let the River Take Them Home





Pinebox Serenade 

Pinebox Serenade mixes country with rock without becoming despicable country rock. It's sounds too good to be true, but it's actually true. "Let the River Take Them Home" is a splendid and very rare album.      




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 Garden of Deceit






The music has been described as "goth moodiness, high and lonesome twang and a cinematic sensibility". "Garden Of Deceit" is Palodine's darkest and best album. Don’t let the husband-and-wife soft duo stereotype fool you. This is hard stuff, indeed.





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In Bocca Al Lupo




Murder by Death

"Sometimes you walk the line / And sometimes it walks you". Very well formulated. This is "gothic americana" on the verge to despicable indie rock. In Bocca Al Lupo [appr. good luck] is the third album by "Murder by Death". 




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Salvation Is a Deep Dark Well




The Builders and the Butchers

Another great "gothic americana" band on the verge to indie rock. TBATB would be just another ordinary indie band, if it weren’t for their weird, brooding and gothic sound. They found the perfect solfège on their second album. 




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Idle Hands




 The Maledictions

Evocative country noir from The Maledictions. If it weren't for a few weak songs towards the end of the album, "Idle Hands" would have a higher position on the list, despite the cut-throat competition. This is their second and best album.  



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