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The Gothic Archies are a novelty band featuring Stephin Merritt, more famously of The Magnetic Fields (a band which Daniel Handler is also occasionally involved in). The name is a pun on Gothic Arch (see: Gothic architecture) and The Archies.
They released one EP in 1997 entitled "The New Despair" which includes songs like "Your Long White Fingers" and "The Abandoned Castle of My Soul".
The band has more recently begun to receive a bit more prominence from performing the theme music for the audiobook versions of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, as well as Neil Gaiman's Coraline. One song has been recorded for each of the thirteen books, and all thirteen songs (plus two extras) were released on an album, The Tragic Treasury, on October 10th. All books in the series have now been published.
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.
- Looming In The Gloom (1996)
- The New Despair (1997)
- The Tragic Treasury (2006)