The Gothic Archies are a self-described goth-bubblegum band created and largely performed by Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields (a band which Daniel Handler was also occasionally involved in). The band's name is apparently a pun on the term "Gothic arch" and the Archies.
The band later became more prominent when Merritt wrote, performed, and recorded songs for the audiobook versions of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. A collection of thirteen songs based on each book and two additional tracks was released as The Tragic Treasury on October 10, 2006, to coincide with the release of the final book in the series. The Gothic Archies briefly toured to promote the album featuring Merritt on ukulele and Daniel Handler on accordion.
The music, like the writing in the books themselves, is morose for comic effect, including lines such as "How I pray for death to begin / when you play the violin" and "Some people act as if there were nothing wrong, / due to the fact they haven't heard this song" and "Real people ask you why / With a face like you've got don't you just lie down and...." Each song's lyrics have something to do with the story itself and are often implicitly written in the voice of one of the corresponding book's characters; for example, "When You Play the Violin" is clearly in the voice of one of the book's five orphans.
Before The Tragic Treasury, The Gothic Archies had released an EP in 1996, Looming In The Gloom, and a debut album in 1997, The New Despair. The EP featured the song "Your Long White Fingers", which appeared frequently in the cult Nickelodeon series The Adventures of Pete & Pete. In 2002, The Gothic Archies composed original music for the audiobook version of Neil Gaiman's Coraline.
- Looming In The Gloom (1996)
- The New Despair (1997)
- The Tragic Treasury (2006)
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