Sunflower Selections 3: Spookflower Tunes

The spookiest evening of the year is just around the bend. The Sunflower is here to make sure you’re armed with the tunes to make this Halloween doot more than ever before.

John Darr

Perhaps I’ve just been completely corrupted by Stranger Things, but when I think of spooky music, I think of grimy 80s synthesizers. My selection kicks off with “Le Perv,” a mad rush of low-frequency grit straight from the hellish arcade halls of Hotline Miami. Chiptune leads and rhythmic shifts grant the arrangements an entrancing depth.

The next track bears its fangs in much more direct fashion. Grimes’s “Kill V. Maim” propels the listener through a glitzy, gangster fantasy that rockets between taunting choruses and cheerleading bridges. It’s the sort of fake blood-gushing anthem that sets a Halloween party ablaze.

“Lofticries” dials back the energy with a levitating, spooky R&B anthem courtesy of Purity Ring. With soaring vocal melodies to pulsing reverb, the track stands as the clear highlight from Purity Ring’s discography. It’s an excellent choice for an eerie, but mystical, evening amongst smoke machines and inflatable monsters.

Finally, there’s “Trapdoor,” which remains the absolute peak of the aptly named “Witch House” movement. With crushing bass, glass-breaking sound effects, and the drooling growl of pitch-shifted rapping, “Trapdoor” is both aggressive and hypnotic. Never before have evil vibes felt so good.

Mariah Perkins

Listening to fall/spooky-themed jams shouldn’t be limited to a season. I’ve compiled a handful of songs that hold up throughout the year while enhancing the spooky season.

We start with Laura Marling, who is herself a haunting force. “Ghosts” is a song of losing and finding love with strong momentum. The chorus is catchy and easy to sing along to while also being contemplative.

“It’s something supernatural and I’m feeling super natural” goes the chorus of Turnover’s “Super Natural.” Turnover is the ultimate sentimental fall band, and this particular song is perfectly suited to the season’s more surreal moments. Into it. Over it., another quintessential fall band, provides a great compliment to the track with “The Shaking of Leaves.” The song gives us a chilling image where the singer’s grief is captured through the season’s falling dead leaves.

My spooky handful ends with the iconic “Time Warp.” Every October, you can find me at a public showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, making a mess, yelling with the crowd and, of course, doing the Time Warp. Even with such a seasonal song, it’s worth throwing on in any party situation. We shouldn’t have to wait until October to do the Time Warp again.

Ryan Crews

“Taurobolium” by Devendra Banhardt captures a werewolf’s fantasy about giving into temptation. From its first snap, “Taurobolium” could have the most straightedge student howling at the full moon.

“Stay Wide Awake” by Eminem boasts a truly haunting instrumental laced in dread by Dr. Dre. It’s only topped in horror by Marshall Mathers’ most vile of serial killer fantasies. He portrays the real-life monsters lurking amongst us with sick precision. Slim Shady giddily skips over the beat with a perfect flow and impeccable rhyme scheme. The scariest thing about the song — even more so than his creepy-as-hell accent — is the rape culture that fuels the song with atypical, white-male serial killer misogyny.

Kings of Leon’s “Closer” recounts a vampire that Caleb Followill claims he woke up to. He claims that he found it written down on a notepad lying in front of him. Followill says he has no recollection of where the words came from. Whether a ghost, his drunk self, or some Illuminati member wrote it, the lyrics of “Closer” are as spooky as its mysterious origin story.

Donald Glover rewrote his Tracy Morgan-impersonating, 30 Rock hit “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah” with “Zombies,” a full track released under his Childish Gambino name. With its sexy, night-riding beat, this “Awaken, My Love!” slow-burner is really a metaphor about corporations pimping out black soul.

If you didn’t know that Ryan Gosling was in a kick-ass freak-folk band that makes songs about monsters, ghosts, goblins and ghouls, October is the perfect time to figure that out. “In the Room Where You Sleep” by Dead Man’s Bones is the perfect song to crash funerals to. It’s also the ideal soundtrack for a casual stroll through a graveyard in the midst of the witching hour. Get to this music before it gets to you.

Pamela Dominguez

This Halloween season, it’s important to have the appropriate soundtrack that everyone can get spooked up to. Starting off the lineup with an irresistible “Who you gonna call?” is Ray Parker Jr. and his single that has defied the decades, “Ghostbusters.” A classic like this is necessary for this haunted holiday season.

Next up is “Vampire Money,” a standout song from a band that specializes in all things dark and little bloody: My Chemical Romance. This electrified track off of “Danger Days” is bound to get your blood pumping.

Next, take a walk down the dark side with Panic! at the Disco’s “Emperor’s New Clothes.” This song is a little creepy, but it’s a lot of fun. It’ll get anyone, living or dead, off of their feet and onto the dance floor.

Rounding out these holiday hits is an iconic song by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Heads Will Roll.” The track is the final component to creating the perfect supernatural song list every ghoul will love.