Abney Park are an American band who take the themed approach to performing Steampunk, adopting fictional personas and a story in the style. They combine world music with industrial dance, incorporating various instruments such as the darbuka, bouzouki and diatonic button accordion that are less commonly used in main-stream music.
They are one of the most well-known bands in the Steampunk genre, probably because their incorporation of the style in fiction makes them so easy to name as being distinctly Steampunk.
Dr. Steel is the archetypal evil genius necessary for any good romp, and his music is certainly something to be heard. Presenting us with a crossover hip-hop, industrial music-hall sound, he's a must-try for any Steampunker searching for music to fit the genre. As with Abney Park there is the appeal of the fictional persona, but about the only stylistic point the two bands share is the goggles.
Taking their name from the science fiction writer, Jules Verne, Vernian Process are becoming more popular in the steampunk community as of late. Their style is said to be of "music themed around Victorian scientific romance", and they certainly do have a more romantic style that some of the others on the list.
Fronted by Melora Creager (pictured on the left), the only remaining original member, Rasputina have been a group of fluctuating membership over their 19 years (and ongoing) of establishment. Originally being formed as a cello trio, the band has existed primarily in the form of two cellists and a drummer. Two of the longer running second chair cellists have been Julia Kent and more recently Zoe Keating (pictured on the right) who both left the band after their respective periods of membership.
Rasputina are more on the Victorian side of things, setting themselves in the year 1891, but many people still consider them to be Steampunk.
"Gothic chamber music for the 21st century." Musically, Johnny Hollow are more of a dark, ambient band, but the band's website (below) exhibits their Steampunk side well. They offer a game and a series of riddles to unlock their music for free, and in this medium can be tied into the Steampunk genre.
A vaudeville-style duo, Vermillion Lies present the image of a playful music-hall pairing. They are more dark cabaret than steampunk, of a similar ilk as The Dresden Dolls and Jill Tracy, but have been often included into the genre perhaps owing to the potency of their theatrical image.
A sister act which started in 2006, they are currently working more on their solo acts, though still perform together occasionally.
"Neo Victorian Electronica with a hint of Steampunk" is how they describe themselves. Their songs tend to focus on narrative and storytelling, much like the stuff of the Victorian music-hall, but with more of a classical element. The also frequent (American) anime, gaming, and cosplay conventions.
These guys put the punk back into steampunk, which is actually strangely uncommon in the musical genre, with one of the very few examples being Abney Park's track 'Post Apocalypse Punk', which pales in comparison to these lot.
The Cog is Dead are a band built around the fantasy story of time travelling Victorians whose mission it is to return contemporary technology to the glory of clockwork. Their musical style is similar to some of the other entries on the list, incorporating narrative songs, less widely utilised instruments, and reliance on time-based personae.
What constitutes Steampunk in musical terms has been hard to pin down. Different artists manage to incorporate the style in their own ways. While the entries in this list may be disputed by some, all of the artists included can be included for various reasons.