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2. Xiu Xiu - "Suha" (2002)
Though he isn't acknowledged for it often enough, Xiu Xiu's Jamie Stewart is the most important goth figure of the 2000s. His songs—sometimes sublime, sometimes ridiculous, often both—have pushed the genre forward in drastic steps, putting allegorical themes of gay ostracization into blunt literal language and moving from expressing alienation to actually causing it in listeners. "Suha" from 2002's Knife Play, totally eclipses the S&M dabbling of Anderson and Reznor, moving on to abject, really hurt yourself desperation instead. "I hate my husband. I hate my children. I'm going to hang myself, when will I be going home?" But it's a beautiful song, too. There's a sloppy Joy Division aping in the guitar line that you can be embarrassed by if you need to be, but taking those slick Sumner guitar riffs and making them sound like they are actually breaking down emotionally is quite a smart tweak, really.