Halloween Playlist: Moody Favorites

maleficentFolks, I held off for the first half of this month from posting about Halloween music. It took a LOT of restraint. I was sweating pumpkins, bats, skeletons and other Halloween-related imagery.

I don’t know many people who don’t like Halloween. At the worst, people are indifferent about it. But the majority of my friends are losing their shit over what is obviously the best time of the year. My Facebook feed is full of Halloween memes, and the pumpkin spice ________ is already available in stores.


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FYI you special snowflakes, 9 out of 10 Facebook posts for the month of September were some form of this. No one is sad about Summer leaving, everyone loves Fall. Stop pretending like you’re the only one who puts up decorations well before the 30 days range of appropriateness.

Moving on… it’s never too early to get started on that perfect playlist. Halloween, and Fall in general, always evokes feelings of comfort, wild spirits, outdoor excursions and exploration to watch the world change. The perfect Fall moments are so fleeting, and the perfect playlist will have you always in the mood for candles, low ‘golden hour’ sun, piles of leaves, imagination, hoodies and big fat October moons.

So let’s get started with the feeling of Fall with this first part of my Halloween Playlist series. I’ve broken down this series into types of music, because you might not be in the mood for Monster Mash for the next 6 weeks, but you might be in the mood for something that makes you feel like a wild wolf going out for an evening of mischief.

Songs 1& 2: Ghost BC – Year Zero; If You Have Ghosts

My first two entries are unsurprisingly by the horror-rock band Ghost BC. For the uninitiated, well, watch the video for Year Zero. I’ll wind up doing a huge article on them eventually, but to give you the bite-sized version of them: this modern band with classic roots didn’t just come by their popularity based on their 70s-era stage presence. The music is catchy, smart – frankly they’re the whole package. Their dark over-the-top lyrics evoking multiple images of Satan, combined with their mysteriousness and respect for song writing make them a rare and winning combination which appeals to old and new music fans alike.

Song #3: Gin Wingmore – Devil in Me

Gin Wingmore’s voice is – gosh – just smokey, light, dark, intoxicating. What a catchy, well written tune. Everyone’s got a little Devil in them during Halloween. This New Zealand based singer-songwriter has sass and rasp.

Song #4: Helloween – I Want Out

I like an inordinate amount of music with men who can sing a lot higher than me. I love it, I just love it. I chose this song because it reminds me of 80’s horror movies. ‘I Want Out’ would be the theme I’d be playing in my head at the moment I stopped being scared and starting crafting ways to fight back the creature or person terrorizing me. Also, their name is Helloween. It sounds a lot like Halloween.

Song #5: HIM – Don’t Fear the Reaper

Okay, I’m gonna just prepare a shield to hide behind for this next suggestion: HIM’s cover of ‘Don’t Fear the Reaper’. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with the original version. and I love it. BUT – If we’re talking mood and atmosphere to get you ready for an evening of spooky debauchery, HIM edges out the original version is terms of that ‘edge night lord’ feeling. I  mean, c’mon this is HIM we are talking about – Ville Valo (lead singer) is notoriously known as the goth-night-love-sex-symbol dude. His band’s logo is a pentagram with a heart stuck in there. It’s gothier. Give it a shot.

Song #6: Type O Negative – Love You to Death

I hate sticking this song in the middle, but in terms of list cohesion, now is the time to slip it in once you’ve loosened up to HIM’s shaky, moody voice. Type O Negative is the quintessential sex god, goth doom sensual wine-drinking, dripping dark love music. Peter Steele (RIP) made this band the most unforgettable, iconic sounding band and there hasn’t been anything like it since. If you don’t know this song, listen to it. If you do know this song, drink one for a dead homie and think about whee you were the first time you heard this dark love ballad.

Song #7: Concrete Blonde – Bloodletting (The Vampire Song)

OKAY now that you’re feeling officially gothy and decadent, let’s have a little fun. Concrete Blonde offers us a video chock full of creepy dark imagery with a beat that just makes me wanna move. It’s about a vampire (spoiler alert), but the lyrics are clever and the vocals throaty and interesting.

Song #8: Nina Simone – I Put A Spell on You

Incomparable. Nina Simone is incredible. Playlist-wise, I’ve already slowed down considerably so there’s no point in picking things back up when there so much good moody music I can put in here at the end. I’m in love with interesting voices, and she’s such a great example of talent and uniqueness. This song is sexy and haunting.

Song #9: Lana Del Rey – Once Upon a Dream

Say what you will about Del Rey as a human (the press surrounding her is generally very unkind), but this song is most definitely chilling. A remake of the song from the Disney classic Sleeping Beauty, Lana Del Rey offers her ethereal, ghost-like voice to a cover which brings a surprising haunting quality to the innocent song. This feeling is very appropriate for the movie it was made for. Maleficent is a movie which flips the tradition of Sleeping Beauty on it’s head. Del Rey’s interpretation of the song is obsessive and eerie. Perfect for our list!

Song #10: Gerard McMahon – Cry Little Sister

I really wrestled with what to put here next. For the last song of this list, I decided to go with something that wouldn’t jar the senses, but didn’t put us to sleep. What better to put here than the theme from one of the most beloved vampire movies. It’s gonna put you in the mood for the next play list, where we REALLY ramp up the Halloween-i-tude. Enjoy this walk down memory lane.

There’s more to come, rockers. Gimmie your suggestions anyway!

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