Moon – Little People
This songs opening moments are inspired by my favorite piece by Beethoven, The Moonlight Sonata, and has become one of my favorite introspective electro-jams. Put your headphones in with purpose, dark hood deeply hung over your still bright eyes, hands actively resting in your pockets, and walk with the only purpose of one foot in front of the other. It doesn’t matter where you’re going, let the cold moon decide. Best at 3 A.M.
Halloween All Year – The Orwells
My choice may seem obvious. Yes, the song has Halloween in its name. Yes, the lead singer, Mario Cuomo, looks possessed on stage. Yes, their lyrics are ambiguously haunting, “There’s a body on the ceiling / looking for me / Get a knife from the kitchen and follow me.”
But beyond the lyrics, visuals, and name, it is the music’s eeriness that embodies the essence of Halloween the most. The Orwells’s unrivaled rawness creates an ephemeral terror. The guitar strokes, echoing throughout the dimly-lit, abandoned high school gym (or what I assume to be something similar), lurch the song forward in the verses, then overwhelm the chorus. Cuomo’s drawl murmurings and characteristic yells provide the perfect contrast within the song; he oscillates between the two effortlessly. The song is a terrifying yet awesome take on the essence of Halloween that everyone should enjoy on October 31.
Blue Velvet– Bobby Vinton
On first listen this song is lovely. Simple chords with an easy, savory chorus, it was a quick 1950’s hit for Tony Bennett, The Clovers and then Bobby Vinton. But something is off; something creepy lies beneath. The sweetness of the song is too candied. There is some sort of underlying artificiality or sickness here. A premature viewing of David Lynch’s sickening 1987 thriller, Blue Velvet, three Halloweens ago may be fogging my interpretation of the song. In this cinematic triumph Director Lynch creates an awesome but nightmare-inducing juxtaposition by pinning this song against a plot replete with missing human appendages and homicidal sexual predators.
So now listen again. Did you catch the eeriness of the song this time? Picture a smiling sociopath wielding a knife this time? No? Just go watch Blue Velvet, maybe then you’ll know what haunts my Halloweens.
“Not To Touch the Earth” – The Doors
There is nothing simple about the intentions of this song. Although through no interpretation does playing it backwards produce the words “turn me on, dead man,” the cryptic nature of these lyrics is equally baffling. Concocted in the drug-addled brain of Jim Morrison, this song was designed for one purpose: to twist the listener’s brain into a pretzel and immobilize it there. Nonsensical though they are, phrases like “dead president’s corpse in the driver’s car” and “the minister’s daughter in love with a snake” are gruesome and horrifying. The element of ambiguity in the lyrics adds to the terror – because what’s more terrifying than the unknown? If the words weren’t chilling enough, the haphazard, screeching combination of instruments and melodies will make anyone’s skin crawl.
Listening alone or anywhere dark is not advised.
“Oops! I Did It Again”- Britney Spears
“Oops! I Did It Again” by Britney Spears remains my favorite Halloween song since attending a costume party with my parents in 2001. (Not conventional, I know, but that makes it all the more mine.) Imagine – upwards of forty drunken adults decide to have a dance contest, my dad included. The first (and only) song they play is this now Spear’s classic. Cue incredibly terrible dancing, featuring my dad positioned in some strange variation of a squat, arms swinging around his body with no sense of purpose or direction. It comes down to my dad and another drunk husband, and my dad ends up winning the whole damn thing. If that doesn’t induce terror deep within you, I don’t know what can.
“Creep” by TLC
A bold and sensual take on the Halloween spirit. It’s hard to ignore the ghostly spirits of TLC as they whisper in their ears and horns egg them on. I would highly recommend that wherever you partake in festivities on this All Hallow’s Eve you play this song and creep around tonight.
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