A spooktacular slay-list for your next Halloween party (or graveyard bash)

It’s that Halloween Playlist time of year, where songs about darker, freaky, unsettling things emerge from the shadows.

Chris Picks Music is a weekly playlist of songs that have aired on CBC Radio's Morning Edition

Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst go by the stage name Shovels and Rope. Their track By Blood is on Chris Haynes's spooktacular Halloween playlist.

This piece was originally published on Oct. 25, 2019.

Are you up for some questionable choices, a bit of fun, a sprinkle of murder and a ghost or two? 

It's that Halloween playlist time of year, where songs about darker, freaky, unsettling things emerge from the shadows. There's also a good dose of eccentricity included in this more than two hours of seasonally-appropriate content. 

If you're planning to dress up like a robot for Halloween this year, I am a Robot by European dubstep MC Pupajim might provide you with some inspiration.

The husband and wife duo of Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst go by the stage name Shovels and Rope. Their latest album being called By Blood gives the sense there may be some Halloween worthy material in this collection. 

I'm Comin' Out, the lead-off track, will provided the perfect off-kilter soundtrack for any costume fitting.

Saskatoon group The Garrys offers up a surfer guitar, minor chord, reverb soaked type of pop that feels just a bit untethered to this earthly realm. Besides, how can you go wrong with a track called Graveyard Curve.

What does it sound like when a former punk rocker turns his creative focus toward acoustic folk music? In Frank Turner's case we get songs like Jinny Bingham's Ghost, which involves a hanging, a mysterious disappearance, a series of murders, claims of witchcraft and a spectral haunting.

You also get pleasant little tracks like A Perfect Wife. You'll want to listen closely to this one. I'm not sure if it involves just a little or a lot of murder. 

Have you ever encountered a ghost? Maybe it was just a lack of sleep. There are lots of references to ghosts in this playlist but not all of them are of the spectral kind. 'Ghosting' is also something you can do. 

Check out Ghost by New York City based singer songwriter Arleigh Kincheloe a.k.a. Sister Sparrow and Ghosting by Vancouver band Tiny Havoc.

What would Halloween be without a jaunt through The Deep Dark Woods?....The band that is! Front-man Ryan Bolt has an almost effortless talent for delivering tales of woe and misery.

From the 2009 album Winter Hours we arrive at "The Gallows."

About the Author

Chris Haynes

Associate producer-technician

Chris Haynes was the long-time recording engineer for CBC Saskatchewan's performance department. He's travelled all over this province recording music, drama and documentaries. He loves picking music and does it every week for CBC Radio's Morning Edition as the show's associate producer-technician.


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