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Music / Death in June

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British band formed by Douglas Pearce in 1981. Started off as a post-punk/industrial band, but after a few albums, eventually started becoming folkier, lending themselves as the inventors of the genre of music known as 'neofolk' (although bands such as Changes had adopted similar sounds and themes well before DIJ), gloomy, sentimental acoustic music that had emerged from post-punk/post-industrial circles. Pearce has been the main creative force since its inception, though he has collaborated with many different musicians throughout his career, including fellow industrial/neofolk musicians Tony Wakeford of Sol Invictus, David Tibet of Current 93, Boyd Rice of NON, John Murphy, formerly of SPK, and Patrick Leagas of Mother Destruction. Lyrical themes involve love, detachment, self-discovery, Douglas' own life, and spirituality, and are full of traditional European symbolism. His influences include Yukio Mishima, Jean Genet, Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Anglo-Saxon poetry.

Death In June provides examples of:

  • Anti-Love Song - Hollows of Devotion" is one of the overall stranger examples of this in any form of music.
  • Canon Discontinuity - On the official website's extensive discography note , the albums Take Care & Control and Operation Hummingbird aren't listed at all. Lyrics can still be found for every song however.
  • Comically Missing the Point - Whenever Douglas P. is questioned about political issues he sometimes humorously spins the questions. For example, when questioned if "race matters", his answer vulgarly described the type of men he finds attractive.
  • Cool Mask
  • Dream Tells You to Wake Up: The last few bars of "Lifebooks."
  • Genre Shift - Originally a Post-Punk band, briefly experimented with dance music, then went to the signature "Neo Folk" sound, which in itself was very electronic until stripping down. There was also a brief period of classical-inspired, march-like, sample-heavy "martial industrial" music in between acoustic folk albums.
  • I Am the Band - Douglas Pearce. Tony Wakeford was the main songwriter and vocalist in the early-80s, however.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune - several instances
  • Punny Name:
    • "Hail the White Grain" refers to the Haglaz rune, a symbol of forces beyond control as represented by... hail, which the Anglo-Saxon version of the Rune Poem describes as "the whitest of grains."
    • The Free Tibet remix album features vocals from David Tibet and was released on the Internet at no charge.
  • Sampling
  • Shout-Out - to The Prisoner on the "93 Dead Sunwheels" Mini-CD and Yukio Mishima in "The Blood of Winter"
  • Straight Gay - In his youth, Douglas struggled with his sexuality due to the fact that he doesn't act or look much like a Camp Gay, which was all he knew of homosexuality when he was young. He's so low-key about it that people often don't recognize that his music has more to do with sexuality than with politics, a fact which disappoints him.
  • Swiss Bank Account: Discussed on "Gorilla Tactics," about a cancelled show in Lausanne, Switzerland:
    Their banks are filled witn Nazi gold
    But Death In June's banned, I've been told
  • Take That!: "The Humble Brag," in particular points its barbs towards critics who accused the band of neo-naziism.
    • The album All Pigs Must Die was an entire record of songs about how Death In June's record label World Serpent Distribution failed to pay him royalties.
  • The Cover Changes the Meaning - Covered "Ku Ku Ku", "Black Baby"/"Little Black Angel", and "He's Able"/"He's Disabled", all songs by Jim Jones and the Peoples' Temple Choir on But, What Ends When the Symbols Shatter?
  • Three Chords and the Truth
  • Trope Codifier: Along with Current 93 and Sol Invictus for neofolk, but not Trope Namers, as its unknown who exactly came up with the term. The aforementioned group Changes are an Ur-Example along with British folk bands like the Strawbs, Fairport Convention, The Pentangle, etc.
  • Updated Re-release - almost every album has several different versions. Variances can be in artwork, format, track listing, etc.
  • Vocal Evolution - Douglas P. singing voice gradually started resembling his natural speaking voice as the music became more stripped down. He used to sing louder in the post-punk and dance eras.