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10 tracks to chill to this Halloweekend

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Creepy, crawly, spooky Halloween fun should always involve good music. Instead of dredging to the abysses of Spotify and YouTube, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a tidy 10-song playlist to put you in that Halloween mood:

1.“Nightcall”—Kavinsky

Start it off right with “Nightcall,” a song guaranteed to usher in macabre escapades. Best known as the intro song for the Ryan Gosling movie “Drive”, Kavinsky’s hit starts with a wolf cry and only gets better. Call the night, start it right. 

2. “They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back from the Dead!! Ahhhh!”—Sufjan Stevens

Never one to shy away from festive absurdity, Sufjan Stevens has got you covered with this upbeat ballad of an old school zombie chase. The song walks—or runs, in this case—the line between spooky and fun. 

3. “Do They Know it’s Hallowe’en?”—North American Halloween Prevention Initiative, or NAHPI

More ridiculous fun with this one. This charity single is in the same vein of all those cheesy Christmas songs that celebrities team up on. This collaboration boasts an impressive list of contributors, including Win Butler of Arcade Fire, Beck, Feist, Jenny Lewis and comedian David Cross. 

4. “Humming”—Portishead

Is it really Halloween if you haven’t heard a theremin yet? In the off chance you are among the 99 percent of people unaware of what a theremin is, I guarantee you’ve heard this eccentric instrument and its iconic whine. It came about as a result of Soviet Russia research, but now is synonymous with creepy haunted house vibes. “Humming” brings things down a notch with this down-tempo, theremin-filled ditty.

5. “Thanksgiving Moon” – DM Stith

Odds are you’ve never heard of Mr. DM Stith, and this track has a meager 41,000 or so listens on Spotify. All the more reason to include it on the Halloweekend playlist. This song wins the award for “Most likely to be played by a drifter who wandered out of the woods to join you at your campfire before silently slipping away as fog rolls in.” It’s a prestigious award in the Halloween playlist circuit.

6. “My Body’s a Zombie for You”—Dead Man’s Bones

Ryan Gosling keeps poking his fingers into this playlist, but more Gosling is rarely a bad thing. Gosling’s musical endeavors led him to create the band Dead Man’s Bones with his friend Zach Shields, and “My Body’s a Zombie for You” features Gosling’s crooning alongside the ever-creepy children’s chorus.

7. “Red Right Hand”—Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Red Right Hand” fills the necessity of a scary story within our spooktastic Halloween playlist. Nick Cave understands that a good scary story plays strongest with an ominous, unknowable threat constantly on the horizon. That mysterious threat is the Red Right Hand, an allusion to the classic “Paradise Lost.” Bonus points that this song is the theme of the first two installments of scary movie franchise “Scream.”

8. “Hudson”—Vampire Weekend

I have no idea what this Vampire Weekend song is about–much like every other Vampire Weekend song–but it does nail the prophetic dirge tone that earmarks that sweet, sweet Halloween feel we’re going for. Who knows what really happens in “Hudson,” but the echoing chorus and spooky reverb gives me the feeling that whatever it is, it ain’t good. 

9. “Anna”—Will Butler

Will Butler of Arcade Fire makes his second appearance on this playlist. The bouncy, staccato rhythm of “Anna” contrasts to the dark subject matter; check out these lyrics: “Ooh, take out the knife / Take out the knife / Ooh, sharpen it twice / And count all the money.” Not exactly sunshine and rainbows. Shout out to the “Song Exploder” podcast, which I reviewed earlier this week and features an episode with Butler breaking down “Anna.”

10. “Monster”—Kanye West (feat. Jay Z., Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, Bon Iver)

Finish the night thumpin’. If you create a playlist without any Kanye tracks, does Yeezy bust down your door and question your blasphemy? I’d rather not find out on Halloween, so we’ll end with a track off his masterpiece, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.” After all, Halloween is about cutting loose and letting your inner monster out.


Follow Alex Furrier on Twitter.


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