Death in June are a neofolk group led by English folk musician Douglas Pearce, better known as Douglas P. The band was originally formed in Britain in 1981 as a trio with two members of the political punk band Crisis, but it soon left the punk scene behind as they began to infuse their sound with electronics and martial-style drumming, combined with a Joy Division-influenced post-punk sound, while lyrics maintained much of the poetry and political urgency of the early Crisis recordings. Tracks such as the early single sides “Holy Water” and “State Laughter” demonstrated an ongoing fascination with political systems.
After the other members left in 1984 and 1985, the group became the work of Douglas P and various collaborators. Over the band’s three decades of existence, they have made numerous shifts in style and presentation, moving away from the post-punk and industrial influences to a more acoustic and folk music-oriented approach. Douglas P.’s influence was instrumental in sparking neofolk, of which his music has subsequently become a part.
In 1991, Douglas P. named and helped form World Serpent Distribution, a British distribution company that specialized in esoteric, experimental and post-industrial music, which would distribute his releases until the late 1990s. During this period, Pearce collaborated with many artists who also had material distributed through the company in various ways, including David Tibet. This is Death In June's first NYC performance in over a decade.