As temperatures cool and leaves change color, our upbeat summer playlists “fall” out of fashion. Whether you’re going for a trek through a haunted maze, crafting the perfect Halloween costume or digging into your favorite pumpkin-flavored treat, The Spectrum has crafted a fall playlist sure to leave you with more chills than the “Goosebumps” series ever could.
Here are a few standout songs from the playlist:
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - “Altered Beast IV”
“Murder of the Universe” (2017)
This one is a little more Halloween focused, telling a story of a man being changed into a demonic beast. He first worshipped the beast, adoring its power, gladly welcoming his metamorphosis into a merciless hound. A spoken word introduction leads eerily into athrash of noise and terror.
This album will set the perfect spooky tone for your Halloween.
MF DOOM - “Doomsday”
“Operation Doomsday” (1999)
There is something about MF DOOM, and any of his many outfits, that acts as a perfect score to the colder weather. This song especially has a beautiful boom-bap beat with a Sade sample that holds DOOM’s vintage flow on a velvet cushion. DOOM’s supervillain persona playfully flexes his own individuality and lyrical capabilities while contemplating his inevitable end.
Black Sabbath - “Children of the Grave”
“Master of Reality” (1971)
The title of this track alone invokes the spirit of Halloween, but this song is not actually about undead children. Black Sabbath has a spooky overtone in general, but this quintessential song from their catalogue takes it to a whole new level by discussing the threat of nuclear war alongside creepy instrumentals.
Peach Pit - “Being so Normal”
“Being so Normal” (2017)
As foliage falls and sunlight dwindles, autumn has a funny way of showing us the beauty in death. Likewise, “Being so Normal” discusses a long dead relationship and the complicated feelings that follow. This song implies that things started to go south last Halloween, adding to its spooky poeticness.
Void Vision - “Sour”
Everything about this dance song is reminiscent of a Halloween night. The vocals are breathy, distant, and vaguely witchy, and the synth sounds like a haunting organ. Dracula would definitely go clubbing to this song.
Jason Molina - “Farewell Transmission”
“The Magnolia Electric Co.” (2003)
The late Jason Molina was always a strong lyricist, but “Farewell Transmission” is his crowning achievement. With lines such as “mama here comes midnight / with the dead moon in its jaw,” listening to this song on a fall night is a truly unforgettable experience. Unbelievably, this song was recorded live in one take.
Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong - “Autumn in New York”
“Ella And Louis Again” (1957)
Fitzgerald and Armstrong each croon about the city, Central Park, falling leaves and the love found underneath them. Lulling drums and soft keys pair beautifully with the infamous duo. If you close your eyes, you feel as though you’re right there with them, sitting on a park bench breathing in crisply chilled air.
Elliott Smith - “No Name No. 5”
Are you alone? Have Elliott Smith articulate your pain.
Over a sparse acoustic guitar instrumental, Smith whimpers of lost relationships and fading memories. He finds comfort in self-induced solitude and wallowing in pain.
Smith masterfully navigates as an emo singer-songwriter that will have you feeling exactly as miserable as you want to. This whole album is perfect to listen to instead of meeting new people, but this song seems to stand out as one of the more desolate tracks.
The Beatles - “A Day In The Life”
”Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (1967)
The outro to the behemoth that is “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” acts as a mournfully triumphant end to this playlist. The melancholy verses sung by Lennon depict the unique ends of different stories. And how the climax of orchestral chaos leads into McCartney’s morning is so perfect for an autumnal breeze, it “never could be any other way.”
The arts desk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.