Four Takes: Spoooooky Songs for Halloween
With Halloween fast approaching, “scary” songs are becoming ubiquitous on the radio, in stores, and on TV. They aren’t always the most imaginative – most spooky soundtracks are full of the same old songs. For this feature we tried to reach a little deeper for tunes to get you in the mood for the season.
“In Heaven (lady in the radiator song)” – David Lynch & Peter Ivers
Sure, the lyrics look nice on paper, but don’t try and tell me this song doesn’t give you the creeps. David Lynch is the king of subtle creep, and with this song he shows he can bring it in music as strongly as he does movies/tv.
S U R V I V E — RR7349
The dudes who brought us the impeccable Stranger Things soundtrack (which could be on this list as well) are a long-standing synth duo out of Austin who make the kind of throwback synth music that, when done right, is spooky and fun at the same time. You can listen to their latest LP RR7349 HERE to soundtrack your hipster halloween party.
Jaye Bartell – Tuesdays
One of my favorite songs of 2016 is a mopey acoustic song with surrealist lyrics that, for some reason, leaves me on edge even after dozens of times listening to it. It isn’t aesthetically spooky, but the sullen delivery and incongruous lyrics give it a feeling of teetering uncertainty.
Umberto – Alienation
A producer who makes faux horror movie soundtracks (and sometimes real horror movie soundtracks) drops another album of spacey, haunted synth work earlier this year on Not Not Fun. Another fun grab-bag of shadowy, zoned out synth music that could take a scene of a movie that on mute seems innocuous and make it scary as hell with his warped sounds floating through your speakers. Listen to the whole LP HERE.
Peggy Seeger – O the Wind and Rain
A murder ballad about sibling rivalry, murder, and everything after. Even creepier in Seeger’s faux Irish lilt.
Screaming Lord Sutch – Jack the Ripper
Mass murder in the swingin’ sixties. Ga-roovy!
Sunn O))) – Big Church [[megszentségteleníthetetlenségeskedéseitekért]]
Nearly ten minutes of creepy metal intensity – stop listening now, lest ye fall into the despair of madness!
Nico – The End
Nico’s take on the Doors’ staple is surprisingly far creepier and unsettling than the original.
Wolf Eyes – Stabbed In The Face
“Stabbed In The Face” is a terrifying swirl of distorted voice, thudding pulse and swirl of buzzing electronics. Even someone at The Office noticed how scary Wolf Eyes could be by placing a bit of “The Driller” from their next album on a Halloween episode of the show.
Scott Walker – Farmer In The City
Walker’s transformation from 60s pop star to dark operatic vocal style is a interesting story in itself. 1995’s Tilt mixed his uniquely haunting vocal style with avant garde orchestral music and electronics for a uniquely terrifying sound.
Swans – Cop
Early Swans were a uniformly terrifying sound, a ear splitting mix of steadily thudding drums and ominous sounds with Michael Gira’s growl over them. “Cop” is a repetitious almost 7 minutes full of Gira’s torturous screams of “hurts” and “heat” for the final half of the song.