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17th October 2019

Spooky songs to keep you haunted this Halloween

Tara Bharadia discusses some of the best songs to get you into the Halloween spirit this year, from The Black Keys to The Rolling Stones
Spooky songs to keep you haunted this Halloween
Photo: David Prasad

There are plenty of classic and modern songs for this spooky season, but here is our list of the top tunes you can put on your playlist now and listen to all year long!

Dracula’s Wedding – Outkast (featuring Kelis)
Even the monsters under our bed get scared sometimes – they’re mostly human too guys! This electro-funk tune will resonate with all you vampires out there as the head honcho, Dracula, battles with his fear of love. After setting up her milkshake company, Kelis graces us with her smooth voice and has clearly done her homework when it comes to vampires, mentioning “silver bullets”, “stakes” and “van Helsing”. Andre 3000’s rap is littered with references to the blood-suckers but the track is also its own stand-alone banger with deep synth, punchy bass and timeless lyrics.

Somebody’s Watching Me – Rockwell
Despite being released in January, this creepy tune has become synonymous with Halloween. This song is written and recorded by son of Motown Records founder, Kennedy William Gordy aka Rockwell. The most surprising part of this track is that Michael and Jermaine Jackson are uncredited for their backing vocals (although instantly recognisable), due to being childhood friends of the musician. The song is the perfect mix of paranoid beats with a chilling overtone, while still being a funky bop. And while this one-hit wonder should have been able to deliver us more, we are sure the royalties earned during the month of October are enough for him.

Witchy Woman – Eagles
‘Hotel California’ wasn’t the only Halloween worthy song released by this famous LA band. This is the classic rock track had all the women in Don Henley’s life wondering and hoping that this song was written about them. It is believed now that the inspiration for this track is an amalgamation of women from go-go bars and Zelda Fitzgerald. With references to classic depictions of witches, as well as modern mentions of the occult and use of hallucinogens, this song covers all bases of everything ‘witchy’. Despite only just making it into the top 10 in the US, give this eerie and powerful tune a listen and we promise that you’ll be acing it on the air guitar in no time.

Sympathy for the Devil – The Rolling Stones
Although this song is written from the point of view of the Devil, this is probably one of the ‘easy listening’ tracks on this list. The light, samba, rock beats and numerous mentions of Lucifer and his tricky nature mean there is a lot to unpack with these lyrics. The way this song earns it’s creepiness is that Jagger stated “something very funny happens when we start that number” and the band took a 5 year break from live performances of this track when it was misreported that someone died during it, at one of their concerts. Despite the rumours, the composition of this gentle groove made it a perfect album opener, and it continues to be a stand-out record for the group.

Howlin’ for You – The Black Keys
Ever been in a funk because you’re pining over someone but feel like you keep messing up your chances? Well the Black Keys have got ya, with this bluesy, rock tune. With an instantly classic guitar riff, catchy beat and raspy vocals, this record is bass heavy and one of the bands stand-out tracks. So the next time you’re up late at night, waiting for that special someone to text you back – this track is great company, its totally gets you, doesn’t think you’re crazy for refreshing your messages every two minutes and understands when you feel like howling at the moon.

I Put a Spell On You – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
There are very few artists who dedicate themselves purely to the genre of shock-rock, but with a nickname of Screamin’ and an penchant for releasing music in autumn – Jay Hawkins really paved the way for acts like Kiss and Alice Cooper. This tune is recognised by adults and children alike (even if it is the stellar Bette Midler version at first). What is so beautiful about this track is that it was originally meant to be a romantic blues song, but after he got drunk before recording, he ended up making this ‘weird version’ and didn’t even remember recording it!

She Wolf – Shakira
Disco? Check. Bass? Check. Eerie lyrics? Check. The ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ queen has had many hits, but ‘She Wolf’ is the perfect modern Halloween tune. Not only is there a complementary track in Spanish (‘Loba’), but the track had an amazing reception and reached many charts at number one. The tune is perfect for spooky season with its janky off-beat melody, but the origin story is just as spine-tingling. Shakira reported that she had a weird feeling all day, then got an image of a She-Wolf in her head and wrote the lyrics to the song in just 10 minutes – before she knew it she was ‘howling and panting’.

Have a happy Halloween!

Tara Bharadia

Tara Bharadia

Section Editor for Puzzles and Horoscopes

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