It’s Halloween again, the season where we ordinary people can be something else, indulge ourselves in a sugar rush and let loose for a moment. And while we’re sure that songs such as “Thriller,” “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper” and John Carpenter’s “Halloween” soundtrack have already been added to your holiday playlist, we at the Clog have a few extra suggestions to round out the soundtrack to your Halloween this year.
Cherry Glazerr – “Trick or Treat Dancefloor”
Cherry Glazerr keeps it short and sweet with its songs, whether it’s an ode to grilled cheese or one about not having 10 dollars (Berkeley students, IRL). While not particularly spooky, the song feels like the perfect backdrop to a moment of Halloween festivities.
Dead Man’s Bones – “Pa Pa Power”
Before Ryan Gosling became the ultimate stud muffin (and was instead just a contender for the ultimate stud muffin), he was in a band called Dead Man’s Bones, whose self-titled album is super Halloween-y. “Pa Pa Power” is one of the highlights, because doesn’t “broken glass, broken hearts” sound like the ideal Halloween evening?
Kanye West – “Monster”
Yeezus has a song for every occasion, whether he’s talking about summertime Chi-town or about he and his girl just barely making it to Thanksgiving. “Monster” is undeniably his Halloween song, and plus, you have the added bonus of Jay-Z naming a million different kinds of monsters throughout his verse.
Kavinsky – “Nightcall”
Best known as the song from cult-classic “Drive” (starring stud muffin Ryan Gosling), “Nightcall” is a delightfully creepy song essential for any Halloween playlist. The colorful and gothic synths combined with the contrast between Kavinsky’s robotic voice and Lovefoxxx’s lush chorus creates the desired effect for a Halloween dance.
M83 – “Graveyard Girl”
Continuing the synth theme, this song captures the spirit of Halloween — having i be totally normal to be strange, even if just for one night. Just imagine speeding through the city at night while you and your dressed-up, weirdo friends smile to each other over how awesome the night was.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – “Red Right Hand”
Nick Cave’s work has always revolved around darkness, and “Red Right Hand” is a signature example of that. From the very first note, the eeriness and bleakness makes you feel like you’re walking through a haunted graveyard at night by yourself.
S U R V I V E – “Hourglass”
The group responsible for the “Stranger Things” theme song, S U R V I V E’s catalog is fully of ominous and bleak synths that set the tone for a moody Halloween. Its entire catalog could probably qualify for this playlist, but the intense bass progression means this one takes the spooky cake.
Sufjan Stevens – “They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back From the Dead!! Ahhhh!”
Sufjan’s album Illinois is very rooted in history, and “They Are Night Zombies!!” addresses the haunted spirits of those here before us. Lines such as “Do you know the ghost community?” or “Night of the living dead at last” make this a good track to put on while you and your friends have yet another debate over whether ghosts are real or not.
Talking Heads – “Psycho Killer”
Inspired by “Psycho,” the classic Alfred Hitchcock horror film, “Psycho Killer” is another song that is instrumentally groovy but lyrically dark. Being perhaps the biggest “hit” that the Heads ever had, throwing this one on at your freaky Halloween party will surely get a reaction.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Heads Will Roll”
Imagine that you and your crew pull up in your badass costumes to the big Halloween party, ready to make a scene. “Heads Will Roll” is probably the song that would be playing in the background as you do that. Both the original version or the A-Trak remix will work here.
Boogie on, bears!
Contact Doug Smith at [email protected].