Not another monster mash
Best spooky tracks for a hip Halloween shindig
Published: Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 17:10
If you’ve outlived the days of bobbing for apples and trick-or-treating, your Halloween party playlist needs to reflect that growth. No more “Monster Mash,” no more “Skully Gully,” no more nonsense. You can never be too old for a good spook fest, but the way you go about it is of the utmost importance – especially when it comes to the tune selection.
Think of the perfectly placed silence in your favorite scary movie, or the shrieks of terror that make your haunted house experience memorable – sound is the most important element of any good scare. Here’s a list of songs that are sure to boost your cred as a host for this year’s Halloween festivities.
“My Body’s A Zombie For You” – Dead Man’s Bones
As if Ryan Gosling wasn’t already perfect enough in everyone’s eyes, in 2009 he released a duo album with his good friend Zach Shields under the stage name of Dead Man’s Bones. The whole album reflects Gosling’s weirdly haunting yet childish obsession with ghosts, skeletons and all things scary. Some of the best tracks from the album are “Dead Hearts,” “Pa Pa Power” and “Lose Your Soul.” The songs feature back-up vocals from the Silverlake Conservatory of Music Children’s Choir, which adds a delightful element of innocence to the darkness of the piece. With Gosling on vocals, this track is perfect for a slow dance as you caress and hold the gaze of your zombie lover.
“Lullaby” – The Cure
Look no further than the mug of The Cure’s lead singer, Robert Smith, for a very real scare. Crazy looks aside, The Cure made some of the only respectable music of the ’80s with a perfect blend of weirdness and pop arrangements in their songs. “Lullaby” features Smith’s hushed vocals and scary lyrics laid down over entrancing keyboards and a mesmerizing guitar riff. Play this song when the lights go out and make your way across the dance floor with your fiercest Halloween vibrations.
“Main Obsession” – Wall of Death
Here, the band’s name says it all – listening to this song sounds like running into a wall of death. The droning voice and slow-moving rhythm will sink you into the couch at your party, making it unlikely you’ll get up until the track switches. With a mean, creepy vocal delivery, this song might just leave you feeling down on any other occasion, but it will set the right mood for Halloween.
“Bewitched” – Frank Sinatra
The title is the only thing here that suggests something scary. What you’re really getting is a classic croon from Sinatra before your party even starts. It’s hard to bring old-fashioned romance into a Halloween atmosphere; so before the alcohol starts flowing and while the lights are still on, have this playing as your first guests arrive. Step it up a notch and “bewitch” your special someone by cooking in your ghost costume with this song playing in the background.
“Trapdoor” – Salem
This song sounds like drugs. For our purposes, I like to think of it as what zombies hear in their heads as they run around trying to bite people. Lay down this beat when your party is coming to a close with all of your friends passed out on the floor and reflect on your success as the most hipster Halloweener of the year.