Count Down to Halloween with Seven Unsettling Songs

3 min read

Jules Bourbeau ’25

A&E Editor

As of October 25th, there are seven days left until Halloween. To celebrate, I have compiled a grouping of seven of the grimiest, most disturbing, nigh on unlistenable songs that I actually enjoy. If you’d like even more terrible tunes, consider listening in to WRTC at 89.3 FM or on October 28th at 7:30 PM for my 90 minute long radio spectacular dedicated entirely to music that sounds downright frightening.

6 Days ’til Halloween…

Begin the festivities on October 25th with “Tendon” by Igorrr. This track begins fairly innocuously with a pleasant electronic ditty occasionally interrupted by hints of the chaos to come. Shortly after the one minute mark, we jump into some metal guitar and percussion work, and things only get stranger from there. You’ll hear everything from operatic wailing to deranged snuffling, all ending with what sounds like some sort of hoedown overlaid on top of hysterical screams.

5 Days ’til Halloween…

Go into October 26th listening to “THE ORDER OF SPIRITUAL VIRGINS” by Lingua Ignota. Lingua Ignota is far from typical, but the first four minutes of the song are typical for her work, with her powerful, ecclesiastic vocals. Just when you think the song has died down, however, she seems to force her entire weight onto one piano chord, leaving you sweating for the remaining five minutes, unsure when she will do next to make you jump out of your skin.

4 Days ’til Halloween…

For October 27th, take a listen to “Hot Head” by Death Grips. MC Ride is known for his aggressive delivery, but he sounds absolutely rabid in this track. Listening to this song feels like being a living punching bag or, perhaps more frighteningly, Death Grips member Zach Hill’s drum set. 

3 Days ’til Halloween…

Try “Beautiful Child” by Swans on October 28th. Michael Gira in this song almost reminds me of a terrifying televangelist making literal fire and brimstone rain down, and the choir accompanying him only enhances this imagery. The entire piece is nothing short of immense, with Gira’s voice actively breaking down by the final verse.

2 Days ’til Halloween…

October 29th, dive into industrial music with Daughters’ “City Song.” Pounding beats and a vibrating drone accompany lyrics about a post-apocalyptic cityscape. The narrator seems to be actively fighting off insanity as he occasionally interrupts himself with shouts and moans. He finally breaks down by the end, with the instrumentals intensifying and distressed cries and groans drowning out his monotone thoughts.

1 Day ’til Halloween…

Celebrate the last day before Halloween with Throbbing Gristle’s “Hamburger Lady.” The song recounts the tale of a car crash victim left with horrific burns. Her nickname is due to the texture of her burnt flesh resembling raw hamburger meat. The lyrics leave no details unmentioned, and Genesis P-Orridge’s frenetic mumbling only serves to amplify the nauseating atmosphere.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! “Girl With Basket of Fruit” by Xiu Xiu is the perfect song for the occasion. I saved the best for last. In fact, the lyrics to this song are too explicit to legally play on the radio, so you won’t hear it in my setlist. The jarring sound and imagery are not intended to be merely some edgy shock factor, however. The entire album centers around the theme of demonic possession which itself is used to symbolize the loss of control and destroyed bodily integrity that comes with trauma. 

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