2019 Halloween Playlist


Billie Eilish performing at the MTV awards.

Eli Sorensen, Senior Design Editor

We all know Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and “The Monster Mash,” and while everyone has a go-to song for their spooky season playlists, there are plenty of ghoulish, underrated gems available to stream right now that will take your trick-or-treat tracklist to the next level. Warning: This is not your mummy’s mixtape.

SONG: Demons–Hayley Kiyoko

After starring (and singing) on the Disney Channel Original Movie Lemonade Mouth, the actress turned full singer-songwriter with the release of several EPs and an album. Demons, her latest single, plays with the infernal. Her voice is devilishly modified, supported by an infectious, pounding synth rhythm. Although Kiyoko ultimately yields to the fiendish temptations, at least we get a certifiable song in time for October.

Lurid Lyrics: “Please forgive me, I’ve got demons in my head/Tryna eat me, tryna feed me lies until I’m dead, till I’m dead”


Last Oct. 1st, rising pop artist Kim Petras released Turn off the Light, Vol. 1, a devilish disco EP with macabre undertones. Petras later unveiled plans to release a follow up this year, though Vol. 2 quickly transformed into TURN OFF THE LIGHT, a full release featuring seventeen trick-or-treat tracks.

Returning favorites like Tell Me It’s a Nightmare and Turn Off the Light (feat. Elvira, Mistress of the Dark) marry the supernatural with infectious synth pop production. Standouts from the full release include There Will Be Blood and Everybody Dies, the dangerously hopeful conclusion to the album which optimistically proclaims, “Not everybody feels/But everybody cries/Not everybody lives/But everybody dies.” Experimental transitions, like Knives, a song produced primarily out of the sounds of scraping blades, create a cohesively grim record.

TURN OFF THE LIGHT is Petras’s second full album to release this year, following her debut, Clarity. As far as pop music goes, the German star is killing it. Any one of her tracks from TURN OFF THE LIGHT would make for a deadly addition to your Hallow’s Eve playlist.

Lurid Lyrics: “If you’re looking for a fright and you wanna do it right/C’mon, turn off the light/C’mon, turn off the light”

SONG: Billie Eilish–bury a friend

2019 is the year Generation Z made monumental waves in the music industry. Lil Nas X’s Old Town Road ft. Billy Ray Cyrus topped the Billboard Charts for a record-breaking 19 weeks, finally beat out by Billie Eilish’s bad guy. The seventeen-year-old singer-songwriter made waves this year with the release of her debut album WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? and its accompanying singles. bury a friend, the lead single from the album, begins with uneven bass beats, backing the signature, spectral sound of Eilish’s voice. Eilish wrote this song “literally from the perspective of the monster under my bed,” making it a must-listen as soon as the leaves begin to fall.

SONG: Halsey — Ghost

Debuting in 2015 with her first studio album, Badlands, Halsey rode the trend of synth pop beats backed by an indie foundation–which quickly became an established tenet of music released in the late 2010’s. Though Halsey has found much more success following the release of hits like Without Me and her feature on the Chainsmokers’ Closer, her roots in Badlands brought with them the ethereal Ghost, a song about losing the person you once loved. Though not unearthly in the traditional sense, Ghost’s otherworldly tone compliments the echo of Halsey’s voice perfectly.

Lurid Lyrics: “My ghost/Where’d you go?/I can’t find you in the body sleeping next to me/My ghost/Where’d you go?/What happened to the soul you used to be?”

Lurid Lyrics: “Step on the glass/Staple your tongue/Bury a friend /Try to wake up”

COVER: Lana Del Rey–Season of the Witch

Lana Del Rey has made a name for herself and her falsetto–it’s no surprise, then that her cover of the sorcerous classic, Season of the Witch, is a welcome, alternate take. Her ghostly sound, coupled with the quiet riffs of a piano make for a mysterious melody worthy of the witching hour.

Lurid Lyrics: “You got to pick up every stitch/you got to pick up every stitch, yeah./Beatnicks are out to make it rich./Oh no/must be the season of the witch.”