Goth icon and avant-garde diva Diamanda Galás is like nobody else. Having released two new records back in March, Diamanda returned to NYC for two Halloween performances at Brooklyn's Murmrr Theatre on October 29 & 31 (both of which were originally supposed to be held at Co-Cathedral of Saint Joseph). Pictures from the 10/29 show are in the gallery above. Ahead of the NYC shows she talked to Stereogum about the records, the NYC shows and dealing with dark subject matter:

“I often deal with the subject of fear [in my work]. Anything trivial is not going to do it for me,” she says. Her work has confronted disease, torture, genocide, and death — things many struggle or outright refuse to acknowledge. “I don’t do it to remind people. I do it because [these things] terrify me, because they horrify me, and because they move me to do something. You take a step because it smacks you in the back.”

Far from mining the suffering of others for crass commercialism, Galás suffers along with her subjects, and in return, her work gives them hope. “During the AIDS crisis, I used to worry that some of my music would depress people who are sick,” she remembers. “And then I realized much later that in fact, a lot of people felt very close to it because it expressed what they were feeling.”

Diamanda is part of the ambitious, impressive 2018 Big Ears festival lineup.

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photos by Mathieu Bredeau