HALLOWEEN is here! So instead of the traditional one-song Reason for the Repeat, instead I’ve put together a playlist of ten spooky tunes you can throw on whether you’re hosting a Halloween party or just sitting at home waiting for trick or treaters and you don’t feel like listening to a CD of “scary noises” on loop.
Turn the lamps down, light that jack o’lantern and settle in for some spooky grooves – and then, add your own favourites in the comments!
1. MODEST MOUSE – THE DEVIL’S WORKDAY
A screeching, intro and then: “All those people that you know, all those people that you know, floating in the river are lost.” It’s as if you’re sludging through the River Styx. Modest Mouse write a lot of creepy songs but this one is the creepiest.
2. NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS – RED RIGHT HAND
Nick Cave has built a whole career on being spooky. In this one, you are taken out on a lurking walk through dark alleyways by a mysterious black clad figure – is it the Devil? Maybe. All you have to go on is his “Red Right Hand.”
3. TIMBER TIMBRE – RESURRECTION DRIVE
Another act whose career could overarchingly be described as “spooky” – Timber Timbre has lots to choose from. But this instrumental track from his latest album, Hot Dreams, could be the soundtrack from a horror movie.
4. BAUHAUS – BELA LUGOSI’S DEAD
Bauhaus! Dracula! Nine whole minutes! Doesn’t get much spookier than this!
5. EELS – FRESH BLOOD
There’s a reason everyone thinks vampires are sexy and this song reinforces that idea. “Oooh baby, I need fresh blood” sings Eels frontman Mark Oliver Everett, before releasing a howling, dissonant, whooping yelp. OKAY OKAY TAKE MINE.
6. ALT-J – BREEZEBLOCKS
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Alt-J perfectly tread that fine line between spooky and sexy. They skirt the frightening edge of desire, tempering ominous vibes with whispers of “I love you so, I love you so.” Also, the video for this song — if you didn’t think it was creepy before, now you will.
7. PJ HARVEY – DOWN BY THE WATER
Another spooky sexy one, this time from PJ Harvey’s 1995 album To Bring You My Love. Is there a horror movie where a terrifying cult baptises someone in a river yet? Because this needs to be the soundtrack to this scene. “Little fish, big fish, swimming in the water. Come back here and give me my daughter.” OoooooOOoOoOoh. I have the willies.
8. PULP – FAIRGROUND (FREAKS)
Complete with creepy carnival sounds and Russell Senior’s demented laugh, this one is especially for your friend with the clown phobia.
9. BLUE OYSTER CULT – DON’T FEAR THE REAPER
If you can ignore that cowbell and get the image of Will Ferrell out of your head for a minute, this song is actually very unsettling. If Halloween is about confronting our fears, this one might get the closest to reality – they’re singing about mortality and the inevitability of death.
10. JAY HOLY – GHOSTS OF LOVE
Not much I can tell you about local indie artist Jay Holy except the he released an EP called Ottobre a few days ago, just in time for Halloween. May I suggest cutting some eyeholes in your favourite silk sheets and slow dancing with your favourite phantom to this ditty?