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Gothic Country Music

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A sub-genre of Country Music with darker, more gothic tones than the norm

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
Pichu-kun on Nov 26th 2017 at 7:50:23 PM
Last Edited By:
Pichu-kun on Dec 11th 2018 at 12:00:46 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

"Gothic Country" (also known as "Dark Country", "Southern Gothic" and "Gothic Americana") is a genre of Country Music characterized by its dark sound and lyrics. It is, in essence, a combination of Alternative Rock, Goth Rock, or Heavy Metal and Country Music.

It shares much in common with the Southern Gothic genre of fiction and many songs are inspired by works in that genre. Gothic Country songs feature the typical alcohol, murder, religious themes, family, and romance aspects of country meshed with darker topics like poverty, murder, and supernatural forces.

Compare with Alternative Country and Southern Rock.


Gothic Country Artists:

  • Beat Circus
  • Blues Saraceno
  • Brillig
  • Dead Brothers
  • The Denver Gentlemen (a short-lived band that was very influential on the entire dark-country scene)
  • The Devil Makes Three
  • Graveyard Train
  • The Heavy Horses
  • Jay Munly
  • Johnny Cash
  • Justin Cross
  • Mean Mary
  • Neko Case
  • Nico Vega
  • Quaker City Night Hawks
  • 16 Horsepower
  • Slim Cessna's Auto Club
  • Tom Waits
  • Woven Hand

Tropes present in this genre:

Feedback: 19 replies

Nov 26th 2017 at 7:55:00 PM

I'm not a country fan and I am only a casual fan of this sub-genre, but I noticed there aren't that many country sub-genre pages so I decided to start one.

Nov 27th 2017 at 7:44:58 PM

Can also be Goth Rock mixed with Country.

  • Sixteen Horsepower
  • Woven Hand
  • The Denver Gentlemen (a short-lived band that was very influential on the entire goth-country scene)
  • Slim Cessna's Auto Club

Nov 28th 2017 at 7:15:19 AM

Is this the actual name of this kind of music? I'm asking because we have Film.Dark Country and there seems to be little reason to, well, arbitrarily collide these page titles.

Moreover, the trope name seems to be related to Darkest Africa (for obvious reasons).

I think Southern Gothic could work.

EDIT: Oops, forgot that Southern Gothic was its own thing. Yeah, Dark Country Music could work.

Nov 28th 2017 at 10:35:57 AM

^^^^ We have pages for niche music genres like Vaporwave and Electro Swing.

^^ The name I always see it under is "Dark Country", but as mentioned it has other names as well.

Nov 28th 2017 at 12:03:46 PM

I'm not entirely convinced this could be a trope on its own rather than being subsumed into the Music category for Southern Gothic. Also, I'm not sure if this proposed trope should only be about artists who exclusively sing about dark subject matter or also include artists who just occasionally delve—or delved—into it like Johnny Cash.

That said, if this proposed trope is approved, I'd add Neko Case to your Dark Country artist list.

Nov 29th 2017 at 10:49:04 PM

Well, some Dark Country (or whatever we call this) artists can't really fall under Southern Gothic because they're from the West, not the South. Like, all the bands I mentioned in my previous post are from Colorado.

Apr 2nd 2018 at 11:59:05 PM

Would the Blues, in particular the Delta blues played by Robert Johnson, be part of the musical hybrid that forms Dark Country Music? Also, along those lines, would the Deal With The Devil trope be present in some of the songs?

Apr 3rd 2018 at 3:29:30 AM

I usually see this classified as Gothic Country.

May 27th 2018 at 10:59:10 AM

It is called Gothic Country; this is the first time I've even seen the appellation Dark Country. Also add goddamn Jay Munly to that list, the high king of the style.

Jun 20th 2018 at 6:06:31 PM

^ I've never heard it called "Gothic Country". "Southern Gothic" and "Dark Country", but not "Gothic Country".

'Changing the name anyway.

Jun 21st 2018 at 8:21:10 AM

Dark Country has a decent number of google hits as a music genre.

Mean Mary counts I think.

Nov 13th 2018 at 11:51:52 AM

Has the name issue been cleared up enough to launch?

Dec 2nd 2018 at 6:19:54 AM

I think Voltaire sometimes does these.

Dec 6th 2018 at 12:13:59 PM

Gothic Country makes me think of a country, as in "a nation" or "a land", a la Lovecraft Country and Campbell Country. Maybe you could title it Gothic Country Music to avoid such confusion?

Dec 10th 2018 at 8:48:54 AM

Thank you for changing the title. I would give you a hat, but TLP bugs out on me. :-(

Dec 11th 2018 at 12:00:46 PM

^ It has enough hats. The main problem is the name since this genre has multiple names. I think the current name fits well, though. It gets the idea around and isn't redundant with Southern Gothic.

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