Halloween, like Christmas, faces a severe existential music crisis. Oftentimes, seasonally-themed music feels out of reach, and so we dive into another year of rehashing the same tracks for yet another holiday party. If you’re like me and are exhausted of listening to Oingo Boingo’s 1982 bop “Weird Science” three times at a party, then you may just need an updated Halloween playlist.
Luckily, some wonderful modern-age artists stepped forward and have created stunning, original songs for the season. Gone are the days of bored covers of tired songs. New albums like the entirely Halloween-themed LP Turn Off the Light by LGBTQ goddess Kim Petras was an October gift. You’ll also find songs off of MGMT’s latest dark album Little Dark Age, King Princess’ EP Hit the Back, and Billie Eilish’s When we all fall asleep where do we go? The track list also features the remnants of last year’s Grimes and Poppy fallout, which after all was said and done left us with two pretty killer singles.
But amongst the mainstays hide some real gems, like Kira Puru’s “Molotov,” Lemon Demon’s “Touch Tone Telephone,” Louis Cole’s “Weird Part of the Night,” and the unmistakably aggressive jam collab between Deerhoof and Awkwafina “Your Dystopic Creation Doesn’t Fear You”.
But don’t worry, your favorite vintage Halloween beats and artists still found their home in the midst of a new era. Songs from the iconic movie Rocky Horror Picture Show remain, a lesser known Abba track will slay, and yes, Oingo Boingo’s “Weird Science” has its place, too.
Not all the tracks are blatantly horror-themed, either. Some songs are included to add murky, echoey undertones to this foot-tapping lineup. This year, celebrate all the dark, atmospheric, moody music creativity of the last decade in its last year. Happy Halloween!