Dead Beats (Halloween Playlist)

By The KTSW Music Department

Werewolves, witches, and wicked tunes, oh my! The streets are lined with jack-o-lanterns of all characters and sizes which means one thing: Halloween is creeping around the corner. KTSW has lined up a spooky Spotify playlist of 14 killer tracks that are guaranteed to leave you wondering what went bump at night. With songs ranging from dream-pop legends, M83, Burger Records favorite, Summer Twins and reaching all the way to The Misfits’ cover of “Monster Mash”, there’s bound to be a song fit for any creature. This spooky-themed playlist is best fit for putting the finishing touches to your costume of choice, playing in your pocket while trick-or-treating, and everything in between.

1. “Anyone’s Ghost” by The National: “I chose this song because it’s so eery and distant sounding. The title is another reason why I went with “Anyone’s Ghost”. Ghosts and ghouls and monsters, how perfectly spooky!” – Allison Belcher

2. “Shankill Butchers” by The Decemberists: “The Decemberists’s music has always had a special place in my heart, mainly because I feel all of their songs would make great movies, and this song specifically has always stood out to me. The song is based off of a group of Protestant men (the Shankill Butchers) who at night would do a lot of heavy drinking and then get cleavers and butcher knives and go out to attack Catholics in Ireland during the 70s. It was some pretty terrifying stuff, at least one of their victims was hung up by his feet and skinned alive, along with a lot of other horrific things. Apparently, parents at the time would actually use it as a cautionary tale and tell their kids that if they didn’t eat their greens or do what they were told, the Shankill Butchers would come and get them.” – Erica Tice, Program Director

3. “Ouija” by Summer Twins: “When I was a little girl I had this weird fascination with the paranormal. I would come home from school and watch Ghost Hunters on the Syfy channel while eating my post-smelly bus ride snack. My favorite books as a kid were the Nancy Drew series, especially the plots that included ghosts and spirits. While I’ve never tried to use a Ouija board (I made one myself one time… that’s another story) I always thought the concept of them was interesting. This track by the Summer Twins leads with a guitar riff that is reminiscent of a Ghost Rider-type character blazing into a desert. In between the verses is an organ riff that I imagine would play somewhere in the Disney classic, Hocus Pocus. Coming off of Burger Records, Summer Twins has that quintessential DIY vibe that is makes this track hit home.” – Janelle Abad, Music Director

4. “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” by Bauhaus: “This goth anthem will bring the right amount of spooky ambiance to your Halloween party. Best appreciated when wearing all black and sitting in the dark.” – Brie East

5. “Bad Ritual” by Timber Timbre: “This song is what Halloween feels like to me. It’s got such a unique groove to it that goes so well with lead singer, Taylor Kirk’s soft, gaudy vocals and the slow build of the song overall. This song makes the perfect soundtrack for teenagers getting up to no good on halloween night. Whether they’re sneaking into abandoned buildings, hanging out in a cemetery, or trying their luck with that old Ouija board, this is the jam for any teen that likes a good spook!” – Tafari Robertson, Asst. Music Director

6. “Black Magic Woman” by Fleetwood Mac – Brooke Adams

7. “Ghosting” by Mother Mother: “‘We don’t need tricks, we don’t need treats, we don’t need tricks, don’t need no Halloween’ – that’s why I chose this song” – Kendra Sells

8. “Shape Shifter” by Boyfrndz: “The song gives you a very dark vibe, as if you’re anticipating something horrifying to happen to you in the middle of the night. Playing this on Halloween night adds to the creepy effect. Check out the creepy music video from this Austin band to start off you’re Halloween night.” – Nestor Vasquez, Local Music Director

9. “Monster Mash (cover)” by Misfits: ” The original version of the Monster Mash is such a staple of Halloween house parties everywhere that it’s good to mix it up a little bit. This cover will turn any party into a Dracula induced mosh pit in a heartbeat! *evil villain laughter*” – Wes Boland

10. “Lucifer Effect” by Hopsin & SwizZz: “A lot of Hopsin’s music has a dark, twisted feel to it. This collaboration with label mate SwizZz incorporates the sounds of Halloween while discussing the “horrors” of the rap game.” – Taryn Peters

11. “Nightcrawler” by Travi$ Scott – Kris Ward, Rap Music Director

12. “Howling at the Moon” by Phantogram: “This song has always made me think of werewolves. The fact that I first heard this song while obsessing over Teen Wolf is irrelevant… Blast this song at your Halloween party or jam out with your friends while you trick-or-treat.” – Emily Coon

13. “In The Dark” by Cathedrals: When you meet the bright duo of Cathedrals, Brodie and Johnny, the first thing you would notice is both of their big and contagious smiles. Their debut EP does not convey that at all. Cathedrals harnesses a gothic dream-pop essence to their music, most notably in “In The Dark”. Think of the duo as Phantogram in between Nightlife (2011) and Voices (2014) with heavier use of electronic guitar, more building up of looped harmonies and the exchanging of the soaring high range with a soothing, soulful alto voice. – Janelle Abad, Music Director

14. “Graveyard Girl” by M83: “This song reminds me of Halloween in high school.” – Brittany Robinson, Asst. Music Director

15. “Fever” by The Cramps: “The Cramps take on a Peggy Lee classic but turn it in to something completely different. Lux Interior’s lackadaisical tone shines over the slow and eerie guitar. Perfect for a night of running around in ridiculous outfits you will never wear again.” – Troy Burke

 

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