Esben and The Witch is a gothic indie rock trio from Brighton, England who took their band’s name from a Danish fairy tale of the same name. The tale involves a little runt of a boy, the youngest and weakest of twelve mighty brothers. They never let him play reindeer games and they always kicked him around. Until the day that they were holed up in a witch’s whorehouse, and Esben saved their lives by arranging the death of the witch. And her thirteen daughters. And her right hand man. It’s pretty weird, even as fairy tales go. You can read it here.
Esben and The Witch released one album in the winter of 2011 to mostly warm critical reception. Because of lead singer Rachel Davies’ singing style, they’re sometimes described as “The Cure meets Florence & The Machine”. Or something like that. I don’t know that I’d go there, but it’s not all that crazy of a description.
Today’s song is crazily dark, and I love it. In a way, it reminds me of early Bauhaus. And that’s a very good thing. It’s also sexy as all get-out.
Listen for yourself:
“Marching Song” by Esben and The Witch
You can probably guess that one of my favorite bits is at the very end of the song when the tuned percussion becomes prominent. I don’t know for sure what it is. Something wooden? Anyway, I like it a lot.
My advice is to play this song really loud, in a darkened room. Preferably a really cavernous, really dark, damp room. Like… you know… a cave.
I highly recommend the official video, which is just bizarre. There’s no other way to put it.
You can get Violet Cries from the Matador Records web store here.