Here is My Seventh Annual Halloween Playlist. In a world full of distractions and diversions, music can provide the needed shift of perspective allowing us to focus on things that really matter like Halloween. Since moving just outside of the overly sunny Tampa, Florida, to the beaches of Saint Pete, setting the mood amid almost 90-degree weather requires the right soundtrack to help recapture the magical excitement Halloween brought me as a child when there was more of a chill in the air. After all, if you forgot the things that brought you joy as a child you are likely to become a rather dull adult. Here is another collection of songs to help bring the sublime spooky to help my focus — perhaps they might do the same for you.
Last year I pulled only from artists who released albums in 2020, this year less than half are new releases. I am, however, not pulling so deeply from the crypts of “classic Goth” since in previous years I delved into that. There might be an artist or two who pays homage to that era, but as with years past, the goal was not to repeat any artist from previous years. While goth and all its various sub-genres are the most obvious tombs to plunder, I am also pulling from metal, rockabilly, and electronica. Lyrically, the songs have to stick to the theme of things that go bump in the night or are related to the season. We are going to hear tribute being paid to monsters, Satan, fear, and various aspects of the descent into the season of darkness the holiday ushers in. Perhaps Halloween will not be as restricted this year as it was last. Happy Haunting — play loudly in dark places.
Vazum- “Frankenstein Gurl”
The Detroit duo refers to themselves as “deathgaze,” which one might assume refers to a blend of death rock and shoes gaze, rather than a summoning spell from Final Fantasy. Though it makes me feel like if Alien Sex Fiend made music inspired by dark anime rather than hard drugs.
King Woman – Morning Star
This ode to Lucifer finds the band delving deeper into darker places. While the entire album is wonderful this one certainly fits the mood for the season of the witch.
Gost- “the Fear”
Wandering into the shadows, this project is at the crossroads of synth-wave and darkwave but works really well at using both sonic spectrums to cast a chill on an October afternoon.
Sidewalks and Skeletons – “Goth”
Perhaps I am one of the few who still keeps the candle burning in my pumpkin for the “Witch-house” genre which was more of a Tumblr-created idea than anything that gained any traction beyond 2011, but I enjoy returning to its memory. It’s like darkwave, but more drugs and less makeup.
Dunwich – “Mouth of Darkness”
From the band’s debut released last year, they paint their brand of doomy black metal with a drab coat of gothic misery. This sounds like a midnight stroll through a werewolf-infested forest.
Coffinshakers-“Vampire’s Don’t Cry”
What every Halloween mix needs is a horror-billy song about vampires. Vampires are at the heart of what goth is about after all. Children of the night making sweet music.
Perturbator- “Dethroned Under a Funeral Haze”
This synth-wave project has slowly gone into darker and darker places and now it finds itself rubbing shoulders with actual goth bands. The larger role of guitar on this album adds to the otherworldly creepiness that is emoted here.
the Gathering – “Nighttime Birds”
This Dutch Metal band was ahead of their time and still retains a solid cult following in Europe. They take the whole romantic melodrama and give it a more serious shade of melancholy. Anneke Van_Giersbergen doesn’t have to try to impress Andrew Lloyd Webber with over-wrought soprano trills, she simply sings from her soul.
the Newlydeads- “Cities in Dust”
When things went sideways for hair metal in the 90s, the singer of Faster Pussycat formed a goth band, and they were pretty legit since they had been playing in underground LA clubs during a time in the 80s when they would cross paths with Christian Death, the Cult and Janes Addiction. The covered Siouxsie is here to clear up any questions.
Bloody Hammers – “Lucifer’s Light”
While the bulk of this band’s new album rocks out like a pumped-up version of the Misfits, they take a break to write this introspective love song to Lucifer. What better way to close out this year’s edition?