curation / KEEGAN HUGHES
Officially, Halloween has been over for two weeks.
However, I refuse to ever let it go. Something about crisp autumn air paired with flickering candle-lit pumpkin sculptures just gets to me. There’s something peculiarly provocative about the spooky season between summer and winter. Streets (and Instagram feeds) flood with people in outfits inspired by their favourite icons and interests. I won’t even start on my twisted love for horror-movies and everything they inspire.
The music that inspires and is inspired by horror movies is another topic altogether. Hell, even music that reminds me of October 31 stands out. Tunes triggering trepidation, morbid melodies, anthems of apprehension.
November’s playlist pulls on the terrifying themes of the last Canadian holiday before Christmas. HONNE kicks off the show with a song that has been famously (to me anyways) described as “feeling like Halloween.”
Avey Tare and MGMT follow up with some dire imagery supported by upbeat (yet off-kilter) and wriggling pop earworms.
If pop doesn’t do it for you, 21 Savage, Offset and Metro Boomin sneak in with a Freddy Krueger-inspired banger to get your blood pumping (or gushing if we’re still talking horror). Queens of the Stone Age shock you out of whatever stupor the nightmare induced with the guitar-driven Head Like a Haunted House.
A back-to-back duo of bar-filled, creepy-beat-backed tunes by collectives BROCKHAMPTON and Injury Reserve creep in to move the playlist to its midway mark.
A wavering, howling synth fills the air as Thundercat sets the mood for the second half of the playlist. Before long, Thurston Moore takes the reigns with a half-croon-half-whisper in a cover of Superstar. The eerie atmosphere achieved through a slow tempo and crackling production takes the classic tune to a new dimension altogether.
A similar sound is achieved by Morrissey in The Smiths’ The Night Has Opened My Eyes. Bouncy bass and tight drumming cannot save the song from dipping into dread and dismay. Very spooky.
BONES and Spooky Black both live within the annals of horror iconography. If their names are any indication of the motifs in their music (they are), they must write and produce with sounds and syllables that call forth frightening ideas (they do).
A meandering walk through the mind of King Krule proves to be unsettling and insightful on the minimalistic and jazzy Czech One, before being bumped out of the way to make room for the electric energy of Electric Guest’s Oh Devil.
A reverent and solemn Leonard Cohen enters the fray with a truly chilling song about his acceptance of death. Powerful as it is dark, the distress (depending on how you look at it) is existential and all-encompassing.
For something really scary, listen to the final track: 22 (OVER S∞∞N). The idea that everything might be over soon should scare you. But you don’t have to take my word as law.
Trick-r-treat your ears to a variety of delicious bite-sized audio candies.