Cloak rock: The powerful rise of the witchy frontwoman

December 3, 2012 | By Pam Grossman | Creative, Legends, Trends

The music scene is currently brimming with ladies channeling their inner witch. Bat for Lashes released their new album, “The Haunted Man” to critical acclaim, and frontwoman Natasha Khan is known to perform in black, swirling garb and glittery makeup.

Other musicians like Florence and the Machine, The Knife, and Zola Jesus play songs with celestial titles, shadowy imagery, and decidedly nocturnal symphonics.

Of course, the trend isn’t new, and pays homage to such doyennes of darkness as Siouxsie Sioux, Kate Bush, and of course, Stevie Nicks. But it’s interesting to see the archetype on the rise again — especially when viewed through the lens of the recently reinvigorated feminist movement.


Natasha Khan of Bat for Lashes performs at The Roundhouse on October 5, 2009 in London, England. (Photo by Barney Britton/Redferns)


Siouxie Sioux of Siouxie and the Banshees performs in this archival image. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)


UNITED KINGDOM – AUGUST 22: READING FESTIVAL Photo of FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE and Florence WELCH, Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine performs on stage at the Reading Festival in 2008. (Photo by Michael Burnell/Redferns)


Kate Bush performs in Copenhagen, Denmark, in April, 1979. (Photo by Jorgen Angel/Redferns)


Zola Jesus performs on day four of Bestival at Robin Hill Country Park on September 11, 2011 in Newport, Isle of Wight. (Photo by JSN Photography/WireImage)


Stevie Nicks performs, 1970. (Photo by Larry Hulst/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Editor’s note: This post originally ran on Rise by Getty Images — check it out! About Pam: As the Creative Planning Manager for North America at Getty Images, Pam Grossman has unique insight into the meaning, application and impact of imagery – photographs, illustration and film — around the world today. Using the information derived from researchers around the world and custom-designed forecasting methods, plus the wealth of data generated by www.gettyimages.com, Pam is able to identify — and perhaps even helps to shape — the visual language of tomorrow.  Pam first joined Getty Images in November 2003 and has frequently been invited as a guest speaker and consultant on visual trends at Fortune 500 companies and conferences, including Google’s in-house global creative team, Bank of America, Kraft Foods, MetLife, Fidelity, HOW Design Conference and The American Marketing Association. Pam is a graduate of N.Y.U. with a degree in Cultural Anthropology.

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