It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The awful humidity and insects have gone away (for the most part), the leaves are changing, and pumpkins and pumpkin spice have taken over our lives! The witches have come out to play and to commemorate this, we’ve come up with our 13 favorite spooky songs sung by ghouls, I mean girls, I mean WOMEN. Listen to them all on Spotify here.
Concrete Blonde — “Bloodletting (The Vampire Song)”
No Halloween playlist would be complete without this staple of the horror genre. If you’re a fan of Interview with a Vampire and like wearing velvet and dripping candle wax on your skin, you’ll totally be into this.
Siouxsie and the Banshees — “Halloween”
Siouxsie Sioux perfectly personifies our deepest, creepiest selves. She surged out of the UK punk scene mixing goth and glam into her defiant stage persona.
Las Ultrasónicas — “Monstruo Verde”
All-female garage punk band, Las Ultrasónicas just wants a green monster to dance in this track. But the surfy guitar and drums and psychobilly vocals (reminiscent of the Cramps) will make you want to dance.
45 Grave — “Riboflavin”
Singer Dinah Cancer helpfully concocts a new alternative to human blood for vampires—“riboflavin flavored, non-carbonated, polyunsaturated blood.”
Shonen Knife — “Robots from Hell”
This trio from Japan go metal on this song as they imagine robots taking over their town. While many of their songs are about cats and food (which is why I love them) they know how to bring out the scary when they want to.
Rasputina — “Skeleton Bang”
The ladies of Rasputina prove that cellos do rock. The founding member, Melora Creager, had played cello with Nirvana on their last tour and Marilyn Manson mixed one of Rasputina’s EPs. This song features a very curious skeleton who just wants to “see what’s going on.”
Nina Simone — “I Put a Spell on You” [From I Put A Spell On You]
Nina Simone, the “high priestess of soul,” gets witchy in this cover of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins classic song from the 50s. The singer says she’s tired of her lover runnin’ around and the way they put her down and casts a spell to keep them in check.
PJ Harvey — “The Devil”
This is the first song on the eerie and haunting album White Chalk in which Harvey explores writing on the piano instead of her usual guitar and bass. The breathy, high vocals sound like the wind blowing outside your attic window on a blustery day.
Dusty Springfield — “Spooky” [From Spooky: Very Best Of]
Britain’s soul and pop diva flips the gender on this song, changing the original lyric to “little boy” from “little girl.” This was before she came out as a lesbian in the 70s when it was still not socially acceptable.
Grace Jones — “Demolition Man”
Known as much for her style and bold stage performances as her music, Jones calls herself the “demolition man” in this song and says she’s “a walking nightmare.”
Gallhammer — “Last Scary Dream”
This dirge-y, sinister sounding song sounds like the perfect house music for a haunted mansion. While there are no discernible lyrics, you can hear tortured vocals in the background.
Cat Power — “Werewolf“
Stringed instruments swell behind Chan Marshall’s sultry voice in “Werewolf.” You’ll start tracking the waxing and waning of the moon and wondering how you’d look with fangs.
Zombie Girl — “Creature of the Night”
Renee Cooper of Zombie Girl bemoans the fact that she’s all alone as a “creature of the night” and wonders if anyone will ever love her. It perfectly captures teenage angst accompanied by sitting up late at night wondering if your vampire soul mate is out there somewhere.
Top photo: Addams Family Values
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