St. Vincent DeJamz: Scary music for Halloween

(Graphic by Max Kleiner / The DePaulia)
(Graphic by Max Kleiner / The DePaulia)

The easiest way to assure that your Halloween party isn’t lame is to ban “Monster Mash” from the playlist. Indeed, it might be best to avoid all traditional Halloween music, otherwise you might as well start bobbing for apples and telling spooky stories. Congratulations — you’ve successfully replicated a fourth- grade class party.

Just like there’s a difference between sparkly “Twilight” vampires and actual vampires, there is quite a variance in the definition of scary. Like movies, a lot of music attempts to be scary but ends up laughably flat. Here are some tracks that actually will scare you.

1. Crystal Castles – “Celestica”

Quite frankly, there’s little need to play any other artist on Halloween. Producer Ethan Kass and vocalist Alice Glass (whose name already sounds like it’s from a horror flick) create adrenaline pumping, freaked-out electronic music. If I ever found myself running from zombies, I could only hope “Celestica,” from “(II),” would miraculously be my soundtrack.

2. Aphex Twin – “Come to Daddy”

If a movie were to begin with the whispered words, “I want your soul,” I would immediately turn it off and go back to watching “Parks and Recreation.” Aphex Twin wants your soul, the warped and bursting beats and his screetching is evidence enough that he is pretty serious about it.

3. Oneohtrix Point Never – “Power of Persuasion”

“Replica” is generally considered one of Daniel Lopatin’s most accessible works, but his compositions, created with retro samples and acoustic instraments, are incredibly disorienting. The strange arpeggios on “Power of Persuasion” are almost reminscient of the soundtrack in the haunted levels in “Super Mario 64,” if it were chopped and maimed into a psychological thriller.

4. Death Grips – “No Love”

MC Ride has lived through some very real things in his life. “No Love” begins with a shout that sounds like it is coming from the bottom of a well before a stark and marching beat kicks in. Death Grips also broke up suddently this year — proof they have no love for you.

5. Radiohead – “Everything in its Right Place”

The synthetic and cold piano melody, Thom Yorke’s pleading voice and the general feeling that everything actually isn’t in its right place make this a disturbing “Kid A” cut.

6.  Nine Inch Nails – “Reptile”

Trent Reznor and his entire discography as Nine Inch Nails is slightly disturbing. But here, Reznor is clearly a little miffed at some cold-blooded women. Its lyrics could easily be an outline for a heart-wrenching slasher flick.