Music / Diamanda Galás

Diamanda Galás is a deep-voiced Greek singer and pianist. She has a distinct classical gothic style, often focusing on somewhat older songs such as "Gloomy Sunday" and "Insane Asylum." Still, despite looking very intimidating, her performances always show a sense of humor.

Diamanda Galas' work provides examples of:

  • Alternative Indie and Avant-garde Music: The genres she is usually associated with.
  • Careful with That Axe: Her voice often sounds this way.
  • Cover Version: "I Put A Spell On You".
  • Fag Hag: And proud of it.
  • Harsh Vocals: Famous for singing in a shrieking manner.
  • Knuckle Tattoos: She has "We Are All HIV+" tattooed on the knuckles of one hand, in remembrance of her brother, who died from AIDS.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Apart from her singing her music videos can also scare people away. Her video for "Double Barrel Prayer" was banned from Much Music, and labeled by MTV as "The most offensive music video" and it's not without reason. Even without the bizarre song that accompanies it, well... a woman splashing around in blood, a woman making horrible facial expressions while pushing two microphones near her mouth (with a red cloth in the background), inexplicable video tape damage, a woman dancing passionately with a gun? Good luck trying to subsequently un-see it. "Do You Take This Man" is this and Black Comedy. Most of the video has her stalking the man she loves then subsequently torturing him in a bizarre ritual. And her trademark "two microphones" returns.
  • Old Shame: She doesn't really care for her 1984 self-titled album. It's one of the few releases she hasn't reissued.
  • Omniglot: She's performed in English, French, German, Italian, Greek and Arabic.
  • One-Woman Wail: Made a career out of it.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Much of Diamanda Galás' work is dedicated to people with AIDS, especially her 1980s "Masque Of The Red Death" cycle. This is mostly in part to her brother being diagnosed with AIDS early in the epidemic's appearance (he died in 1986, before the cycle could be completed). Her album "The Singer" features a picture of her hands, which are tattooed with the words "We Are All HIV+." Her album "Vena Cava" is told from the point of view of someone losing their mind while dying from the disease.
  • Shout-Out: Internet reviewer Diamanda Hagan named her pseudonym after Diamanda Galas and Nina Hagen. [1]. Another character played by her is called Nina Galas.
  • Special Guest: Diamanda Galas appeared on Erasure's album Erasure.