Songs You Really Should Listen To On Halloween

I went to a Halloween-themed salsa party last weekend, dressed as a Rescued Chile Miner. No one got the joke. It didn’t help that both my borrowed safety vest and helmet were brand new, shiny and reflected the shit off every flash picture taken. I had nary a smudge mark on my face, nor did I think of wearing a pair of sunglasses to mimic just having gotten out of a mine. I ended up as Foreign Labour Road Worker instead.

Anyway, enough about me and my fail. Here’re three songs that hopefully will creep the hell out of you.

Aphex Twin – Come To Daddy (1997)

Honestly, you really should have heard this by now. From the get-go, ‘Come To Daddy’ establishes its sinister tone with severely distorted synths and Richard D. James’ nefarious promise that he wants your soul and will damn well eat it. The best part comes during the bridge at approximately 2:20. The cacophonous bass drops off for a brief moment, but just when you think you can catch your breath, a menacing scream gets progressively louder, shriller, inching closer and closer, and ultimately ends up swallowing you whole. There’s only so much I can write about the song without referencing the disturbingly brilliant video directed by Chris Cunningham. You can watch that here.

Folk Implosion – Simean Groove (1995)

Most people would associate this track with the Kids soundtrack but I heard it first on the 2-CD trip-hop mother lode Headz 2A on Mo’Wax Records. It’s really nothing more than an instrumental beat interspersed with the sounds of a bunch of howling wolves. But them howling wolves get me every time.

Lisa Germano – …A Psychopath (1994)

OK, this gets my vote for the creepiest among the three. I’m not sure which came first, the idea for the track, or the genuine 911 phone call that Lisa Germano samples for it. Either way, she does a magnificent job of translating into song the suffocating helplessness of being accosted by an intruder – a psychopath – and not being able to do anything about it. The disabling fear that grips you in a moment of terror leaves you powerless to even move a muscle, and Germano illustrates this ingeniously in her lyrics (“A baseball bat, a baseball bat beside my bed / I’ll wait around and wait around, and wait / I hear a noise, I hear a noise, well I hear something / I am alone, you win again, I’m paralyzed”).

The other parallel storyline is of course, that 911 call. Underscored by Germano’s elegiac violin, you can’t help but feel simultaneously freaked out and frustrated that, even though she’s on the phone with an officer, he doesn’t seem to be of much help. The hair on the back of my neck stands every time she screams in her quivering voice, “Who are you? Why are you here? I got the police on the phone. Why are you here? Why? WHY?!” The cop goes, “Karen? Karen?” And the phone clicks.

Like a good Hitchcock film, the call ends on a chilling cliffhanger. The only problem is it wasn’t a work of fiction.

One Response to “Songs You Really Should Listen To On Halloween”

  1. James Molloy Says:
    November 22nd, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    Surprised nobody got that. I ran into a lot of them throughout the night, and they hadn’t bothered grubbying up either.

    I went as as an Irish comedy rappers the Rubberbandits which most people aren’t aware of. Although I saw about 6 of them while I was out so they do have a following.