Steampunk music is an oft-debated genre, full of bands playing all sorts of different sounds. While this can make it difficult to generalize about the genre as a whole, it means that the average person is bound to like at least some Steampunk bands.
That's why it's a great idea to support some independent Steampunk bands this holiday season by buying their music for yourself, or sharing it with someone else.
Toward that end, I've compiled a list of popular independent Steampunk bands, along with direct links to buy their music on either Amazon, iTunes, Bandcamp, or their official sites. Please share this list, and feel free to add any bands you feel are missing in the comments section!
Bands appearing below are ones that I've either listened to, or seen live. I felt that I couldn't recommend bands I hadn't at least heard! So here they are, in alphabetical order:
The Aeronauts describe themselves as "high-energy rock with circus and gypsy flares layered with intense melodic vocals". It's a pretty accurate description!
Eli August is able to pluck the strings of not just guitars, but hearts. If crooning is your thing, check him out!
Frankly, I don't know how to describe Beats Antique, except that they're amazing. Their songs have strong beats, electronic sounds, and a retro vibe. Give them a listen, and you'll understand.
This UK band puts the 'funk' in 'Steamfunk'. They have two bass guitars and a lot of funky rock!
Escape the Clouds, the child of Mark Rossmore, creates soundscapes that merge with electronic music to form amazing songs. Many of them tell short Steampunk stories, and are experienced rather than heard.
The Extraordinary Contraptions, based in Atlanta, GA, bring the feeling of prog rock to the Steampunk scene. Their songs, ranging from ballads to pop numbers, are must-hears!
Frenchy and the Punk describe themselves as "an energetic hybrid of European Folk roots, Punk attitude, World Beat eclecticism and traveling player theatricality". All I know is that their music is lots of fun!
The Ghosts Project takes cues from classical music to make haunting, electronic melodies. Paul Mercer plays one of the most expressive violins that I've heard outside of a concert hall.
I'm not sure how to describe Hellblinki, except to throw out words like crazy, cabaret, gypsy, folk, and circus, and hope that some of them stick. Give them a listen, and you'll see what I mean!
The Men That Will Not Be Blamed for Nothing put the 'punk' in 'Steampunk'. They're everything you would expect from a punk Steampunk band!
Mr. B is the Chap Hop nemesis (and friend) of Professor Elemental, whose music has a more retro sound in its samples.
Professor Elemental is almost more of a personality than a musician, but his Chap Hop songs are legendary in the Steampunk scene!
Strange Artifact has the distinction of being the only Japanese Steampunk band! They bring the sound of Japanese rock music to their Steampunk scene, and their sound is extremely professional and polished.
Steam Powered Giraffe is a trio of clockwork robots who can only sing for a while longer before their gears wear out, or something of the sort. In real life, they're an extremely talented trio that plays retro-sounding music, and are a fan favorite among Steampunks!
This Way to the Egress, whose name is a reference to a famous circus scam, describe themselves as a "gypsypunk cabaret". If those words sound appealing to you, then you should give them a listen!
Unwoman is a solo cellist/singer who creates beautiful, haunting, electronic melodies.
The Unextraordinary Gentlemen are a post-Goth band turned Steampunk, and bring with them the industrial, synth-heavy sound.
Vernian Process is a darkwave, prog rock-ish band that incorporates Steampunk and cabaret themes in their music. The end result is an intense, emotional experience.
Aurelio Voltaire is well known in Gothic circles for his emotional, funny, and even insightful songs. However, his recent albums have fallen definitively under the Steampunk umbrella, particularly "To The Bottom of the Sea" and "Riding a Black Unicorn".
Victor Sierra is a French band from Paris. Their music is a synth-heavy rock with strong beats and beautiful melodies.
As I said, I only included bands that I was personally familiar with. If you have any other indie Steampunk band recommendations, please share them!
Also, this list at steampunk-music.com may help you in finding more Steampunk music if you just can't get enough!
Piano photo by TLC Trio