It's that time of year, when the Halloween party/gathering in your tiny apartment is made even more claustrophobic and spooky with the exact right playlist to freak out your guests.
Of course, there are perennially spooky classics, like Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and Kanye West's "Monster" and Paris Hilton's "Stars are Blind" (just kidding—that song is awesome), but the best way to set the mood for your soiree is by using a horror-movie tactic: shock, surprise. To do so, you need some brand-new creepy songs wedged in between the expected in order to keep your guests on their toes. Here are three to get you started.
"Tiptoe Through the Tulips," a just-released cover by the burgeoning teenage Los Angeles band Cherry Glazerr (pictured above), is featured in the trailer for the upcoming movie Insidious 3, and is accordingly off-kilter. Why does a xylophone always sound vaguely creepy if it's not in a major chord? Probably has something to do with childhood pathos, something Cherry Glazerr mines on this song, off-setting its twinkles with ominous echo-drums, guitar distortion, and singer Clementine Creevy's raggedly sweet, babe-in-the-woods soprano to invoke the horror of the afterlife when you can astrally project into your dreams, or whatever the hell Insidious is about. (Seen the first two installments multiple times; it's still unclear, yet is awesome regardless.) Cherry Glazerr has been on their way up for a minute—see: Creevy as muse to both Hedi Slimane and his Saint Laurent outpost—but this puts them in a whole new category: super-fun garage band that also retains the right to scare the shit out of you.
In Tommy Lee Sparta's awesome video for "Crow," the self-proclaimed purveyor of gothic dancehall gives us full-on Exorcist voice, shapeshifting through demonic octaves between samples of crows... crowing. The visuals are mildly influenced by The Crow, the film, and the song is similarly about enacting vengeance (on haters and naysayers): "Hear the crow dem a cry/dat mean dem ready fi feast/And people ready fi die." The crow ready fi feast in this scenario is, of course, Tommy Lee Sparta.
Lydia Ainsworth takes a subtler approach to her creepiness, sounding more like she's honoring Samhain than celebrating Halloween: whispery, witchy vocals and autumnal piano soundtracking a ritual conjuring. This is from the Toronto musician's latest album, Right from Real, on which she attempts a real-life conjuring of influences as varied as "Verdi's Requiem and Ace of Base."
So what's going on your scary party playlist?
Image via Jordan Millington/Cherry Glazerr.