Ophelia – Playing Rapunzel

“Ophelia” by Playing Rapunzel, a gorgeous song for a missing scene in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Lyrics are available on Bandcamp.

Content warning – this song is set immediately before Ophelia’s suicide by drowning, and delves pretty deeply into her headspace at the time. Be especially careful if suicidal ideation is an issue for you.

Refusal of the Call – Beth Kinderman

I picked up some stones & then
I made myself a labyrinth
built the walls so high til I
could not see the stars
so tell your metamorphosis
that it is not invited here
those sounds you’re hearing now
are anything but minotaurs

“Refusal of the Call,” by Beth Kinderman, from her upcoming concept album The Hero’s Journey.  The Bandcamp description includes this quote from Joseph Campbell, The Hero With A Thousand Faces:

“Refusal of the summons converts the adventure into its negative. Walled in boredom, hard work, or ‘culture,’ the subject loses the power of significant affirmative action and becomes a victim to be saved. His flowering world becomes a wasteland of dry stones and his life feels meaningless—even though, like King Minos, he may through titanic effort succeed in building an empire of renown. Whatever house he builds, it will be a house of death: a labyrinth of cyclopean walls to hide from him his minotaur. All he can do is create new problems for himself and await the gradual approach of his disintegration.

Ishmael’s Oath – Leslie Fish

The wreckage now has vanished
The waves cavort and roll
I’m riding on a coffin and conversing with my soul
I understand completely now what Ahab tried to do
And if I live to get to land I’ll try and do it too

“Ishmael’s Oath,” by Leslie Fish

Elsinore – Vanessa Cardui

“The lyrics of the chorus (beginning with “The child that from the tear”) are a poem entitled ‘The Procreations of Eve and the Copulations of Adam’, by George Barker, published in his 1992 volume ‘Street Ballads’. The poem is used by the gracious permission of Barker’s estate. The song was inspired in equal parts by Barker’s poetry and by Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’. Each voice represents a different character in the drama.”

This is…haunting.  I’m really impressed by this singer’s madrigal-esque text settings.
“Elsinore,” by Vanessa Cardui

Frankenstein – The Mechanisms

Recommended to me by @khittyhawk, this group seems to do mini-musicals.  I’m not sure how to classify them, but they’re really neat.
There’s a review on their website that says “Ostensibly folk, but folk run over with a steam-powered bus driven by Homer” and…if that’s not an endorsement, I don’t know what is.