Songs for a Spooky Halloween

I’ve written about various Halloween concerts–from indie pop to classic rock, to doom metal, to country. That’s well and good, but what about all the private, semi-private, and public parties happening in houses all over the city? What songs should they have in their playlists to guarantee a spooktacular Halloween? While this is by no means an exhaustive list, here are a group of songs that are must-plays for any Halloween festivities.

1. “Dark Black Makeup” by Radkey — With an dark, classic punk vibe, the brothers Radke are a must have on any Halloween party. “Dark Black Makeup,” the title track to their latest LP, broods with the otherworldly power that only Radkey can summon.

2. “Halloween” (Misfits cover) by AFI — AFI takes the Misfits song and transforms it from a punk homage to Halloween into something darker and more frantic. More raucous than most party songs, save this one for later.

3. “Killamusicknotes” by iLLPHONiCS — iLLPHONiCS can make anything sound smooth. Whether the newly added Record Machine band is rapping about politics or collaging horror film scenes, the St. Louis song writers can make music that gets parties started.

4. “Dead Girls” by Lushes — Lushes’ unique mix of devastatingly heavy guitar and clever, catchy lyrics makes “Dead Girls” a good song to start the night with. The band’s latest, Service Industry, is available at Mills Record Company too, just saying.

5. “Moonshine and Reefer” by A.J. Gaither OMB — A.J. Gaither’s swampy grit throws off the perfect tones for a party. Distorted and driving, “Moonshine and Reefer” is a slow-burner, perfect for the middle of the night.

6. “Kingfisher” by Windhand — This fourteen minute epic contains seven of the spookiest sounds I’ve ever heard. The seven minutes that precede these are heavy and ominous–perfect for any Halloween bash.

7. “Twitch of the Death Nerve” by The Philistines — If you’re not lucky enough to see this band tear up the Brick on Saturday, then adding this song to your Halloween playlist is a good second. Blisteringly hot and dance-inducing, “Twitch of the Death Nerve” will reanimate any lagging party.

8. “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah” by Tracy Jordan — Because Halloween can be as hilarious as it can be scary.

9. “Dope” by Hearts of Darkness — Fusing jazz with hiphop, rock, reggae, and everything else, Hearts of Darkness create songs that demand every body to dance. There’s nothing spooky about this song–it’s just a great track to have at a party.

10. “Battles” by My Gold Mask — What’s scarier than a battle? Nothing. What’s dancier than My Gold Mask? Nothing. “Battles” straddles the line between indie pop and electronica in such a way that both sides get equal schrift.

11. “Fly to Lima” by Monta at Odds — Monta at Odds makes some wicked fun sci-fi themed soundscapes. “Fly to Lima” has a melody that is as mesmerizing as it is catchy. Definitely a must have for a Halloween party.

12. “Thor’s Stone” by Forest Swords — Brooding and chilling, “Thor’s Stone” is the aural equivalent to a black light. Plus, the video is, frankly, terrifying.

13. Any song by Thunderclaps — This duo doesn’t make scary music. Thunderclaps’ mix of rockabilly and blues-tinged rock makes for a sound that will bring even the stuffiest party to life. Put their latest EP, Cookin Up A Good Time, on and watch the party start to shake.

 

14. “Strange Encounter” by Father John Misty — If there’s anyone who can make a potential overdose sound as good as “Strange Encounter” sounds, then Father John Misty is that guy. Let the song serve as both a how to guide and a cautionary tale. Save this one for the last song of the night.

Remember, keep it safe this Halloween. While I can’t guarantee that these songs will make the party, they certainly won’t hurt.

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