Cold Waves is a Chicago-based dark music festival originating in 2012, after the death of a beloved Chicago musician and sound engineer, Jamie Duffy. Cold Waves presents classic-era industrial, goth and darkwave artists along with innovative newcomers, keeping Rivet Head Culture alive and well!, while raising money for the mental-health awareness and support charity “Darkest Before Dawn” focusing on the service industry community. The 2023 edition of Cold Waves takes place September 22-24 @ Metro and Smart Bar, with a special kick-off show September 21 @ Sleeping Village.
Riki is the Los Angeles based dark synth-pop outfit commandeered by the mysterious Niff Nawor, a visual artist and musician active in the deathrock / anarcho-punk scenes of the California bay area (formerly a member of Crimson Scarlet), before founding her solo endeavor as Riki in 2017. Like all the most elusive pop, Riki’s songcraft is simultaneously direct and oblique, dynamic and detached, shifting from sparkling chorus to elliptical outro according to its own poetic logic. She characterizes her lyrical muse as “very much what’s going on in my life, things I wanted to say but didn’t have the platform.” This subcurrent of dream fulfillment animates the melodies with a specificity and immediacy that transcends her pantheon of 80’s influences: from Saâda Bonaire and Strawberry Switchblade to Bryan Ferry, Bananarama, and beyond.
Established in 2020, Male Tears is the dark-electro pop duo founded by James Edward and later joined by Frank Shark the following year. The band released a debut album and a follow-up record in 2021 that exhibited new-wave, goth and italo influences through a DIY bedroompop filter. Their primary inspirations include Soft Cell, Virgin Prunes, Depeche Mode and Dead or Alive.
Clubdrugs is a new goth/pop band from Chicago, featuring ex members of Black Moth Super Rainbow and High Priest.