like new order, but not musically
May 18, 2022 10:45 AM   Subscribe

I've been listening to a lot of New Order recently. Or rather, I've been streaming a lot of New Order videos on Youtube, which is to say that I've been listening to AND looking at New Order recently. They're a band with a strong visual identity, which I appreciate. I'm looking for other bands with strong visual identities like that.

New Order is well-known for frequently working with Peter Saville and Michael Shamberg, which allowed them to be pretty consistent throughout their career. I happen to like the visual style of both, so that's why I've been watching on Youtube, instead of just listening on Spotify. It feels like a Gesamtkunstwerk. I feel like I get more out of it than just listening to music or watching video or looking at an album cover - the sum is greater than its parts.

So I'm looking for other artists like that. Ideally, they'd probably sound similar to New Order - I like a lot of poppy, danceable "alternative" music - but it's not a requirement. And something visually similar to Peter Saville or Michael Shamberg would be good, too. But that's probably asking too much, so I won't be too picky. Feel free to suggest bands and artists that are nothing like them, as long as there's that Gesamtkunstwerk feel.

I am looking for consistency, though, which eliminates someone like Bowie from consideration. His music and the art surrounding it are indelibly linked, but Bowie famously kept reinventing his image.
posted by kevinbelt to Media & Arts (26 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Pet Shop Boys

maybe Kraftwerk?
posted by rd45 at 10:51 AM on May 18 [5 favorites]

Tool has always had a consistent identity across the audio/visual/video component
posted by windbox at 10:54 AM on May 18 [1 favorite]

CHVRCHES, maybe?
posted by genehack at 10:54 AM on May 18 [1 favorite]

Superorganism is a large group with members originating around the world. They do sort of danceable synth pop but also incorporate a lot of found sounds and creative percussion (eg a bucket of water). One of them just makes the videos, so it's an important part of their art. Their Tiny Desk concert gives a decent overview of the sound, Everybody to Be Famous gives a feel for their videos.
posted by SaltySalticid at 10:55 AM on May 18 [2 favorites]

Depeche Mode's biggest hit-scoring run was generally all directed by Anton Corbijn.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:55 AM on May 18 [6 favorites]

posted by dngrangl at 11:33 AM on May 18 [1 favorite]

Oh! Actually, Super Furry Animals might hit the bill - they don't sound like New Order and have a large, diverse catalog, but everything they've done feels very "Super Furry Animals" and I love their ongoing sound/vision thread.
posted by dngrangl at 11:40 AM on May 18 [1 favorite]

Kate Bush. She experiments a ton obviously but I think there's still a pretty distinctive style that connects most of her visual output, both wrt music videos and live performances.
posted by thebots at 11:41 AM on May 18 [2 favorites]

The Clash had a very strong visual identity.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 12:01 PM on May 18 [1 favorite]

How about more recent OMD? Metroland, Isotype, The Punishment of Luxury.

Technically there's a Saville connection to OMD as well but that was long ago. I'd like to think they kept some of that early aesthetic
posted by JoeZydeco at 12:14 PM on May 18 [1 favorite]

Rammstein! [vid Du Hast] Gesamtkunstwerk built in. Always theatrical, more like opera, nsfw, consistent clever use of languages, and consistently provocative, can understand and enjoy the surface, or go deeper (and usually a lot darker).

What about Gary Numan [here as a guest of NIN]. I guess his style has changed a lot, I means he's been doing this since '77, but there's constants in dress, the sound itself, and Gary has retained a real presence.
posted by unearthed at 12:44 PM on May 18 [3 favorites]

Okay I'm going to focus on "strong visual identity" more than "similar to Peter Saville" or "sounds like New Order."

The early 4AD bands have a strong label-wide graphic continuity based on design by Vaughan Oliver, thinking here of This Mortal Coil, Cocteau Twins, Pixies, Throwing Muses, Dead Can Dance, etc. None of these bands sound to me like New Order, but lots of New Order fans like all these bands.

I think the Jesus and Mary Chain hit this target too, and again, they don't sound like New Order to this listener, but lots of fans of both bands are out there.

Crass is a punk band with a very consistent visual aesthetic based on the design work of Gee Vaucher and the logo design of Dave King.

Um, Insane Clown Posse?

Belle and Sebastian have a strong design continuity.

More currently, Sault comes to mind.

There's not a lot of visual identity to Silver Jews, but Silver Jews are the best and there's definitely an aesthetic continuity across album covers.

A visual identity that's really integrated into public image and live performance is going to be pretty common in various types of metal, from Iron Maiden to Ghost to Slipknot to the entirety of the black metal subgenre (and while I'm not an expert in the genre I'll flag and CW that a lot of the early source material of that genre is racist and fascist).
posted by kensington314 at 12:54 PM on May 18 [6 favorites]

Oh! Also Solange. I feel like she's uniquely invested in the visual presentation of her entire career from her person to her performance to her album art, which does have some visual continuity.

Related, might be worth looking at artists associated with Melina Matsoukas.
posted by kensington314 at 12:57 PM on May 18 [1 favorite]

The White Stripes are pretty well-known for their white/red/black aesthetic. Jack White was really obsessed with threes, which is why their band is (ostensibly) vox + drums + guitar.
posted by radioamy at 1:17 PM on May 18 [3 favorites]

Lady Gaga has many amazing visuals in her videos.

Grimes is fun to watch.

And this is way out there, but Blackpink has several iconic videos with striking aesthetics.
posted by danabanana at 1:28 PM on May 18

Underworld, of Born Slippy fame, worked closely with Tomato for album and video design for ages. They made a YouTube playlist of their music videos.
posted by Pronoiac at 2:51 PM on May 18 [1 favorite]

Depeche Mode's biggest hit-scoring run was generally all directed by Anton Corbijn.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:55 AM on May 18

He seems to have worked a bit with Echo & the Bunnymen/Ian McCulloch (among others) as well.
posted by eckeric at 3:08 PM on May 18 [1 favorite]

Duran Duran
posted by museum nerd at 3:27 PM on May 18 [1 favorite]

I've been watching Underworld videos since my comment above and I should warn there's lots of strobing.
posted by Pronoiac at 4:04 PM on May 18

Florence and the Machine?
posted by maighdeann mhara at 4:41 PM on May 18

OK Go ?
posted by gnutron at 4:51 PM on May 18 [1 favorite]

KMFDM has an extremely consistent visual style.
posted by TrialByMedia at 4:57 PM on May 18

Virgin Prunes
posted by SystematicAbuse at 5:01 PM on May 18

posted by Fiasco da Gama at 5:44 PM on May 18 [4 favorites]

Daft Punk
posted by Jawn at 9:19 PM on May 18 [1 favorite]

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