The Birthday Massacre An Introduction: Essential Songs
There is a magical quality to The Birthday Massacre. Pretty much everyone you them to will fall in love. It doesn’t even matter if they call themselves a fan of “goth” music or not.
Music wise, The Birthday Massacre have been described as synth-rock, dark wave, new wave, other kinds of wave, etc…. What is probably better for The Birthday Massacre is not to describe what genre they are in, but what they sound like.
They sound like a childhood where the nightmares are the most comforting part of the day. Where innocence means seeing nothing wrong with murdering friends. Where everything normal to you is something that terrifies everything else. Their music also sounds like an adulthood of remembrance of all of this.
With a rabid fan base, all disagreeing on what of their amazing songs are just a little bit more amazing than the others, it can be hard to work out which songs should actually be listened to by them to get an idea of what The Birthday Massacre are actually about.
6 essential The Birthday Massacre songs
I wore my black and white dress, to the birthday massacre
The band took their name from this song. Literally. Before, The Birthday Massacre used to be called “Imagica” but, because there was another band with the same name, they decided to take the name of this song (originally titled just “The Birthday Massacre”).
So, now renamed Happy Birthday, this is still an amazingly perfect song to get straight into The Birthday Massacre. Other than one element of their style, which you can get covered in the song below, this song is basically all of their Music in three minutes and forty seconds.
To be fair, I might be biased with my praise of the song, as this was also my first song. However, you get to experience the lead singer’s (Chibi) sinister whisper and then her beautiful singing, while surrounded by a typical The Birthday Massacre style dream scape made of sleepy synths and night-time guitars.
Note: This song can be found on the albums “Violet” and “Nothing and Nowhere.” There are minor differences between the two versions, but really listen to the first one you can find
You supply the rumors, and I’ll provide the wrath.
And this is the best song to introduce you to Chibi’s screaming, found on the “Violet” album.
Some bands scream because it’s the style of music they are in. It’s what the genre expects. Not so much with The Birthday Massacre. Here, Chibi’s creaming takes on an otherworldly dimension. Contrasted with her clean vocals earlier on, it does feel like the harsher voice could maybe belong to an imaginary, and yes demonic, friend.
There are few Birthday Massacre songs that make use of Chibi’s screaming vocals, but the ones that do just add to the soundscape. It’s put to a thematic, lyrical, musical effect. Never overused, and never out of place.
We’re drowning in clichés, so desperate to love.
Self-titled from the “Violet” album (which, has two other colour songs, “Red” and “Black”, the uniform for The Birthday Massacre), this song can show you how heart-achingly beautiful The Birthday Massacre can be. This song has the most amazing performance of Chibi’s singing vocal career. It’s almost impossible to listen to the rest of the instruments in the song. But, you need to find them, because everything just adds perfectly together, from the almost funk inspired baseline, to the creepypasta style Tetris lead on the piano that kicks in now and then.
Their every word is insincere, there is no time for reason
Another example of how incredibly dynamic Chibi’s vocal range is, Her voice, somewhere between a growl and synth, is unlike any other trick that The Birthday Massacre have used through their life, but the song still has all of that Birthday Massacre purple gloss, with a theme of childhood permeating through the songs, even into the synths and the guitar riffs.
When night expires, across this town
And a similar, yet still somehow tonally and thematically different, voice comes back for their next album, Superstition (released in 2014 via Kickstarter). Although still there lurking in the background, this song, and many of the others and the new songs, feels like they have moved from the childhood feel a little bit. This isn’t to say though, that from the new album onwards The Birthday Massacre have suddenly become irrelevant or not worth listening to though. If anything, the album is one of their strongest efforts to date.
You’d feel it, we’d fake it
And going back to their 2007 album, Walking with Strangers, is Red Star. It is very difficult to not just go “screw it, every song on Walking with Strangers is essential.”
So, why this one? Well, if you followed in order, you might want to to back to the childhoodscape that have made The Birthday Massacre unique in the gothic band scene. There is also the simple, yet shockingly complex melody and once again, Chibi’s amazing piercing vocals that somehow fade perfectly into a harsh guitar riff after the chorus before going back to the kind of melody that you can’t just help to circle your head along to.
But still, after this song, just go back to the beginning of the album (if you are on Spotify or Play Music), or just buy it, and listen to the whole of it, curtains drawn, candle lit.
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