Siouxsie and the Banshees/ Blow the House Down

Every decade has its musical female icon. Every genre its damned queen. I was 15 when I first heard “A Kiss in the Dreamhouse”. This was minutes before I discovered the Cure and started wearing white face powder and red lipstick. I was still searching for that sound. The kind that would find me just to get me lost. I remember hearing my first relatable female artist when I was 11. I bought “The Tide is High/Blondie” on a 45 and listened over and over. My father always had a good stereo and headphones. Always. So I would sit against the wall in this tiny corner, hidden by a massive speaker and disappear. But something was missing with female artists like Blondie. A certain tangible danger. A fearless intelligence that even then, I knew existed somewhere. Siouxsie wasn’t sexy in the commercial sense. She didn’t use sexuality to sell herself. She didn’t have to do anything but write phenomenal lyrics and throw them against a wall of hypnotic sound. She moved like a cat; precise and instinctual. And she was unpredictable. Siouxsie and the Banshees are responsible for some of the best lyrics ever written and melodies with an excruciatingly good soporific effect. To this day, when I listen to “Spellbound”, I am 17, sitting in my bedroom on red shag carpet with an RCA tape recorder next to me. My father is pounding on the wall telling me to” Shut those damn drums off!” and I can’t hear anything but the scream of a wild female banshee.

One of my relics that made it to 2015 in mint.

One of my relics that made it to 2015 in mint.

My favorite Banshees’ song:

The Sweetest Chill

Hearing you in my sleep Feeling you, your cadence seeps

Whispering in flashback

The specters of your memories

Fall in glistening showers

Such a tender descent Intones this haunting lament

The sweetest chill

Fearing you but calling your name

Icy breath encases my skin

Fingers like a fountain of needles

Shiver along my spine

And rain down so divine

The sweetest chill The sweetest chill

A drowning so sublime

Spins in a heavenly climb

Calling you, tears thaw my sleep

Wanting you, this hoary web is weaved

From this strange confusion

Grows a perverse communication

It enthralls me and coils me around

The sweetest chill The sweetest chill The sweetest chill

Enchantment ebbs and whirls

The sweetest chill

Enchantment ebbs and whirls

The thrill, the sweetest chill

My top 5 Siouxsie and the Banshee Albums:

1) Tinderbox

2) Hyaena

3) Through the Looking Glass

4) Peepshow

5) A Kiss in the Dreamhouse/Kaleidoscope (just couldn’t choose)


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