A Coordinate Inspired by Cinema Strange & Lolita Music Musings

Every now and then I like to play around on Polyvore and design an outfit around a favorite song of mine. This particular coordinate is based on Needlefeet by Cinema Strange, a song about a little girl playing in the forest with her dolls and hears some strange things.

The lyrics allude to a very elegant and old fashioned time period. The little girl is not simply a little girl, she is a marchioness, her dolls are maids, her fort made of sticks and leaves a manor and they are sitting down for tea. It is both a charming song and a creepy song. The vocals and the music are a stark contrast to the lyrics and, typical of the post-punk/deathrock genre, feature nearly unintelligible dramatic vocals and scratchy guitars. If I was actually trying to turn someone on to Cinema Strange I wouldn't turn them straight to Needlefeet, but instead to the song Catacomb Kittens, which is the song that turned me onto the band.

I would post the actual song, but I don't know if anyone would actually like it XD So instead, the story version of the song, which I somehow managed to hear first, or at least, I noticed it first. Whenever I would put my music on random this story always caught my ear and held my interest. It's not a spoken word version of the song, but instead a whole story based on the song.

I occasionally get questions on my formspring asking about Lolita music, much like what to do when your petticoat deflates, I am really clueless about most Lolita music! To me, there is really no such thing as "Lolita music" because I don't really think that Lolitas have to listen to specific music, and if they did, you would get a bunch of different opinions, depending on who you asked! The Momoko purists would claim that classical music is Lolita music, Jrock fans would claim that the Jrock bands who wear actual Lolita is Lolita music, some people claim that Emilie Autumn is Lolita music simply because she once wrote a song called "Gothic Lolita", and the list goes on. Of course, none of these people are either right or wrong, if to them that's what Lolita music is then it is, for them.

Personally, I don't really go out in search of Lolita bands. I have tried in the past but have been mainly uninterested in what I found. Although, there are a number of bands I listen to who remind me of the Lolita aesthetic for one reason or another. Some other time I would like to get a play list of sorts up of "Lolitay" songs, but in the mean time, here are a few bands that remind me a bit of the Lolita aesthetic:
  • Rasputina- The number one Lolitay band on my list. Besides being fronted by a bunch of girls in Victorian underwear with cellos they are well known for singing about obscure and strange historical events and Victorianesque themes. If the music that Rasputina makes could create a world, I feel that Lolitas would make up a large percentage of the population, or at least frequently vacation there!
  • Sopor Aeternus- One of my favorite musicians of all time! Like Rasputina, Anna Varney of Sopor Aeternus creates a sort of world with her lyrics, this world is often much darker than Rasputina's, very much on the Gothic side of Lolita, but it is still a beautiful world.
  • Cinema Strange- They have a lot of lyrics that are about creepy Victorian things, and a lot of their lyrics are very cemetery/death centric, but they are sung in a very dramatic and fast-paced way so they aren't exactly gloomy.
  • Dead Can Dance- Dead Can Dance has a very wide range of styles, ranging from mellow folk to rock. They are a much more peaceful band than the other bands on this list and often have a very ethereal feel to their music.
  • Kokusyoku Sumire- The only band on this list that is actually considered a Lolita band! Also the only Lolita band that I found I really enjoy. They wear the fashion, with their own twist, so I guess that's how they became known as a Lolita band, I don't speak Japanese, so I have no idea if their lyrics helped them become known as one. Despite the fact I don't know what they are singing about, they are very dramatic and operatic and quite fun to listen to.
Now, just as much as I listen to these bands I listen to things that are in no way, shape, or form Lolita, ranging from early 90's rock to Arabian pop/dance to power metal. While I don't think that fitting music is needed to even be a Lifestyle Lolita, it is sometimes fun to come across a band that reminds you of the frills, or to find out a band that you have always loved sings about loli-appropriate things, whatever they may be to you!

Do you feel that proper music is a requirement for Lolita, or are your favorite bands about as far as you can get from Lolita? I would love to hear any more Lolitay music suggestions, while I don't go around looking for music to match my frills, I always love to hear new bands!

22 comments:

  1. I also always thought Cinema Strange were somewhat fitting for the lolita aestethic - their music is very haunting, eerie and weird. I haven't been listening to them much lately but they have (or used to have) this awesome side project called Deadfly Ensemble that have a more old-fashioned feel to it than Cinema Strange. Also, one thing that I love about Cinema Strange is how they put on such a show, I saw them live once and one of them had pastel patchwork painted all over his face and arms to resemble a doll, it was great. Anyway, to me, there is no lolita music but there are songs or bands that really puts me in a lolita mood.
    This was such a fun post, and I really liked the coord you put together.

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  2. You have some fantastic taste in music :3

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  3. Fun idea, I love Cinema Strange!

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  4. Eee, I love all the bands you listed <3 I find victorianesque goth music better lolita inspiration than jrock, partly just because I can understand what they're saying!
    I really hate that Emilie Autumn song, it's mostly about "the other lolita" anyway.

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  5. There are certain artists and musical genres that remind me of lolita fashion, but I don't think there's such a thing as "lolita music." The notion that you have to listen to certain types of music to be a lolita strikes me as a bit silly, too. I like knowing that there are lolitas out there who listen to death metal. Just imagine how dull our subculture would be if we went around listening to Kanon Wakeshima all day @__@ It would give people yet another reason to believe all the nasty stereotypes out there.

    I listen to all sorts of music. I love all types of metal, hard rock, folk/pagan music, new age/middle eastern music, medieval and renaissance music/ classical music, ragtime, the blues, big band and swing, the golden oldies, neo-classical darkwave, dark cabaret, gypsy punk-- everything. I listen to whatever happens to strike my fancy :P

    Personally, I associate the music of the first half of the 20th century with lolita fashion. Music was generally much more innocent back then, and I definitely recommend that lolitas give ragtime, big band, and doo-wop music a good listen (it always puts me in a good mood).

    PS: if you like Sopor Aeternus and darkwave/neoclassical music, then give Dark Sanctuary a listen! Just look up their cover of The Garden of Jane Delawney; it's really pretty *_*

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  6. Didn't someone post that gothic lolita song on egl a while back? It was kind of awkward because it's SO obvious that it's about the other lolita.

    OT but, when I glanced at your name I had to do a double take, lol. It looks like it would be pronounced like ravine, right?

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  7. I don't think there is no specific Lolita Music but I recognized that many Lolitas in my community listen to folk/pagan music.

    Personally I think that Tarja Turunen makes some great Lolitay songs. For example I love "I walk alone" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwbtbfAnI80 . Not only because of the music (which is just great) but also because of this video^^

    The first song of her new album is a song that reminds my of Lolita everytime I hear it (Anteroom of Death - I can't find a Video at the moment). It has some kind of "music box with a ballerina"-feeling to my mind^^

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  8. XD I like to think she thought she wrote that song about the Lolita fashion but when everyone said "WTF is this?" she decided it was about the other kind of Lolita.

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  9. I actually haven't had the chance to get around listening to Deadfly Ensemble but I definitely will! I'm checking out their stuff on youtube right now and am seeing Andi Sex Gang doing a song with them :DDD I was going to put his band on the list but feared the search term results I would see the next time I checked my site stats if I did.

    Lucky you for getting to see them! I would love to have the chance, but honestly I'm just not into going to shows all that much any more, although I would make an exception for something like Cinema Strange.

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  10. I like the idea of doo-wop and ragtime being something of "Lolita music" mainly because it's pretty much the complete opposite of Jrock, which many people suggest when talking about the subject.

    I'll definitely check out Dark Sanctuary! Thanks for the suggestion!

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  11. This post is really funny to me. I listen to some of the most un Lolita music imaginable and at the same time look for bands that are Lolita-y. I listen to classical music and kanon wakeshima but I also listen to bands like mindless self indulgence (everyone should look them up ;D) and eminem! So.... Yeah this post I can relate too.

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  12. I don't listen to music that would be considered very lolita... Unless you consider jazz to be lolita!

    Actually, paris match has kind of a cool, light style that would go well with lolita, though I prefer the idea of listen to them while sitting outside at a little cafe in some European town while sipping mint soda, haha. JiLL-Decoy association is a little too crazy for lolita, though some of their songs are perfect for it (poor scheme has this dark, haunting sound that reminds me of gothic styles).

    Amano Tsukiko has a lot of music perfect for lolita. She's a J-rock artist, but certainly not viskei (what most people refer to as J-rock) and not anything like any other J-rock (non-viskei) artist. Satoumizu reminds me of a sweet tea party. Bodaiju is the perfect song for a gothic lolita. BG is basically a dark fairy tale (well, most of he music is like a fairy tale, but this one most obviously). Jam Tomorrow goes -perfectly- with my Sweet Jam JSK. KITCHEN is perfect for retro styles. Utakata is also somewhat gothic, but a little lighter. Songs like Hello have a perfect sound for lolita. Her newer stuff (as amano tsuki) has a very light, innocent feel to it. I've made dresses inspired by Camellia, Tokeidai no Kane, and Parade. I think I have a tendency to lump her in with lolita because I just love her so much, though, haha.

    A few selections:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujp1Hign6_0 (Bodaiju - perfectly gothic!)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMvLqb0fFgo (Satoumizu - tea party music!)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80w1KDZQuDo (Clover Clover by Amano Tsuki - nice light sound)

    Also, I've asked pretty much this same question on the Dressed to a Tea forums (not sure if you go there?) http://s7.zetaboards.com/Dressed_to_a_Tea/topic/912878/1/

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  13. I really like Kerli for Lolita-esque music. A lot of her stuff is whimsical and strange, especially Walking on Air. And let's face it...that Tea Party song she did for Alice in Wonderland might not be her usual gig but it's definitely cute and VERY lolita!

    Have you ever heard of the band Lolita Komplex? The lead singer is actually a very pretty Sweet Lolita and she looks so out of place among her metalhead male counterparts. Their music is kind of strange but fun.

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  14. hi, i'm cihud from indonesia.
    i really adore your blog and ur lolita-ness
    your blog is like lolita bible to me
    and i have linked you to my blog
    cheers!
    :)

    pinkdna.blogspot.com

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  15. I'm actually incredibly fond of Cinema Strange. I have all their albums.

    I'm going to suggest Voltaire, Harlequin Jones, and Émilie Simon as well. Most dark cabaret would qualify, come to think of it.

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  16. I guess I listen to a mix of things, but I mostly find that a lot of jazz standards have a lolita appeal to them. Especially since it seems sometimes like jazz writers as equally obsessed with France as lolita brands are! And there was a jazz singer called Blossom Dearie who has a very sweet sort of voice, there are definitely a couple songs by her that make me think of lolita.

    One classic song that comes to mind is definitely 'I'm Old Fashioned', which is more about romance, but includes the lines:
    "I'm old fashioned,
    but I don't mind it.
    It's how I want to be..."
    :-) As well as that one I always think of 'Tea for Two', 'Comment allez vous', 'April in Paris' and bizarrely I suppose 'Give Him the Ooh-la-la' and 'Always True to you in my Fashion' as loli-ish songs. XD

    I think the only ones on your list I've heard of are Rasputina and Kokusyoku Sumire, and I actually don't know what either's music sounds like, but they certainly both have a very pretty look going on! XD

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  17. I imagine that she heard the term 'Gothic Lolita' (apparently Courtney Love, who she toured with once, had a load of GLBs) and wrote a song that's about the other kind of Lolita...but one that's dead, hence the 'Gothic'. Sort of taking the term literally, as someone who doesn't know anything about the fashion, just the novel, and is creatively minded might do.

    I don't dress lolita, just an admirer/subculture nerd and I like EA's music, but I can understand why some people find that song annoying, as it contributes to the myth that the fashion has something to do with the novel.

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  18. I think Lolita is essentially without ties to any music genre, although from what I've read it has its origins in music, as it grew it left them behind. But then it doesn't have a mandatory 'lifestyle' element either, and the two seem to go together. Also, what I find interesting, is that people can bring their outside interests to the fashion - I know goth music fans who turned to Gothic Lolita for fashion, and people who dress kind of steampunk Lolita and listen to steampunk music. Perhaps that makes Lolita one of the first postmodern subcultures!

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