This month I’ve assembled a Halloween playlist, but you won’t find “Thriller” or “Monster Mash” here. This isn’t your average overplayed spooky playlist, these are my choices to help you throw the hippest costume party of all.
1. Nina Simone
I Put A Spell On You
OK, I know I said this wouldn’t be one of your run-of-the-mill Halloween playlists, but how could I leave out Nina Simone’s classic tale of magical seduction? Originally released by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins in 1956 and re-popularized in the ‘90s by the quintessential Halloween film Hocus Pocus, I wouldn’t have felt right leaving this one out.
I toyed with the idea of making this month’s playlist entirely out of songs with the word ghost in the title, but that would have meant leaving out some of my favourite creep-pop. This track just happens to be both.
3. MS MR
One of my favourite albums of last year was “Secondhand Rapture” by MS MR. Very consistent in its pop sensibility and mood, “Bones” was the official first single.
4. Róisín Murphy
Ramalama (Bang Bang)
Genius choreographer Wade Robson used this song for a Victorian-era zombie piece on the second season of So You Think You Can Dance and to this day it is all I can see when I hear this song. Róisín was the lead singer of Moloko until they split. Rumour has it she’s been working on a follow-up to 2007’s “Overpowered.”
￼5. Northeast House Party
Another band with a new album on the way, Northeast House Party makes music that contains everything I look for in a pop song—groovy bass, smart lyrics and a grand finale that will knock your socks off. Save this one for when you want your guests to start dancing.
6. Raleigh Ritchie
If you’re a fan of HBO’s Game of Thrones you might recognize Jacob Anderson as Grey Worm, the commander of the Unsullied. Nerd. He also goes by Raleigh Ritchie and most of us can probably relate to this song about a relationship that hurts us as much as it helps us.
7. John Grant
Pale Green Ghosts
Buckle up, this one sounds like it belongs on a trip through a hall of funhouse mirrors in the Middle East. It’s trippy, and decidedly so. John Grant tested positive for HIV prior to the recording of this album and the chaotic, dark and often angry tone of the music gives us a pretty good idea of how his diagnosis made him feel.
8. Sir Sly
You Haunt Me
Sir Sly’s debut album “You Haunt Me” was released on Sept. 16 and it’s a great example of simple, finely crafted indie pop.
9. Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Heads Will Roll
Another one I wouldn’t have been able to exclude—a total necessity at any big gay Halloween party, if only for the glitter filled video. For a little extra kick, try out the A-Trak remix.
My favourite band on earth! Dragonette is busy working on the follow-up to 2012’s “Bodyparts.” They’ve got a new song out with Mike Mago called “Outlines,” which is a much more upbeat affair than this one. This song is about losing a part of yourself to infidelity and it’s the perfect haunting conclusion to this month’s playlist.
You can listen to this month’s playlist here: http://8tracks.com/havewemet/ outwords-halloween-october-2014.
If you follow me at Have We Met? on 8tracks you’ll be updated every time I upload a new playlist! I’ll be uploading a new one for OutWords once a month. The online version features five bonus songs.
– Brett Owen is a local contemporary dancer/ choreographer, gogo boy at Fame Nightclub and playlist curator.