|Cultural origins||Late 1990s – early 2000s, Denver, Colorado|
Gothic country (sometimes referred to as gothic Americana, Southern gothic, the Denver sound, or even simply just dark country) is a subgenre of alternative country that began in the United States in the city of Denver in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It combines alternative country, gospel, and blues with lyrical themes touching on subject matter frequenting gothic, and particularly Southern Gothic, literature. Songs often examine poverty, criminal behavior, religious imagery, death, ghosts, family, lost love, alcohol, murder, the devil and betrayal.
The Denver Post in a 2016 article identified an active music scene finding its beginnings in the early 2000s, and being rooted in country but being composed of more macabre and grim subject matter. The article described Denver as the epicenter and place where this genre found its beginning, with The Denver Gentlemen, Slim Cessna's Auto Club, 16 Horsepower, and forming the genre's basis; further bands associated with the scene include Wovenhand and DeVotchKa. Since its rise to prominence locally in the Denver music scene, the genre has spread beyond and bands from outside of the scene such as Uncle Sinner, Murder By Death, and O'Death have borrowed from it.