Halloween is over, but that doesn't mean you can't celebrate this autumn weekend with some ghoulish tunes. Ghosts are forever, even if Halloween is not, and it is All Saints' Day — to say nothing of the ongoing Day of the Dead celebrations throughout the world.
Musicians, like many artists, love ghosts and ghost imagery. These are all songs that have ghosts in their titles, but they have varied sounds. Some are slow ghost songs with deep melodies, and some are groovy ghost songs.
Here's a playlist to celebrate the chilly air and creeping Daylight Savings shadows:
"Ghost Sound Effects 3" by Various Artists
Despite not being an actual, y'know, song, this is a good, creepy intro to this wonderful ghosty playlist. Ghosts sound like shrieks and whispers and the wind outside your window. Luckily, there is real music to come that will drown them out.
"Ghosts" by Laura Marling
We start the real playlist a little more gently with the quick, melodic lyrics of British singer-songwriter Laura Marling. "These are just ghosts that broke my heart before I met you," Marling croons. Are all past lovers ghosts? Maybe.
"Is There A Ghost" by Band of Horses
Six-piece rock group Band of Horses relocated to South Carolina before releasing Cease to Begin, the album that "Is There a Ghost" appears on. Perhaps because of that, the song has a Southern tinge in an otherwise full-bodied rock song, featuring the lyric, "When I lived alone, is there a ghost in my house."
"Ghost" by Sir Sly
Landon Jacobs, the man at the front of indie-rock band Sir Sly, has a surging, emotional voice. The backing snyth-pop sounds in "Ghost" create a moody aura. When Jacobs take his voice up an octave in the last minute to sing, "You're a ghost," the lyric becomes a haunting rising chant that's both mesmerizing and catchy.
"Ghost to Me" by Youth Lagoon
"Ghost to Me" is a bonus track off of Youth Lagoon's debut album The Year of Hibernation. On it, Trevor Powers uses the minimalism of piano and synthesizers to create a song about mental instability and the struggle of lost love.
"Ghosts" by On An On
On an On is an indie-rock trio made up of the remaining members of the band Scattered Trees after it broke up. On An On, as exhibited on "Ghost," is a stronger band musically speaking. Alissa Ricci, in particular, really shines on keyboard and back-up vocals, even tossing in some ghosty "ooOoooOOooh" noises.
"The Ghost of Rockschool" by Belle and Sebastian
Legendary indie-rock band Belle and Sebastian shows how ghost songs are made into beautiful, soothing, horn-driven anthems with "The Ghost of Rockschool." The harmonies in the second half of the song warm up the sad lyrics.
"Walking With a Ghost" by Tegan And Sara
"Walking with a Ghost" only has eight lines of lyrics, yet it's probably one of the most popular indie-rock ghost songs. It makes sense, though. Ghosts are pretty repetitive creatures, always moving your stuff around and making the same bloodcurdling noises. Must get annoying!
"The Ghost Inside" by Broken Bells
James Mercer's high whimsical voice is perfect for this ghostly tune where he sings about a girl who lost herself to a man. "Did it all/ For that dollar/ She's a star tonight/ Without warning/ She gave up, the ghost inside."
"Ghost Dream" by Blouse
Blouse's self-titled first album combines elements of 1980s modern rock with electronic keyboard backing. "Ghost Dream" sounds like just that — mesmerizing and sleepy and a little bit creepy.
"Ghost" by Neutral Milk Hotel
Jeff Mangum's iconic, twangy voice shines on Neutral Milk Hotel's "Ghost," where he sings "Ghost, ghost, I know you were within me, feel you as you fly/In thunder clouds above the city, into one that I loved"
"Ghost" by Sky Ferreira
Sky Ferreira's songs tend to be upbeat, but on "Ghost" she's dealing with some melancholy, and her voice sounds all the better because of it. Instead of a real ghost, though, Ferreira sings here about the ghost of a once happy relationship.
"Bruised Ghosts" by Amy Milan
"Ghosts weren't meant for bleeding/ Ghosts weren't meant for bleeding," Amy Milan sings over a gentle guitar and horn backing. It's not spooky, but it sure is sad. That's the perfect transition to the long, grey days of autumn.