Kavinsky - "Nightcall"
I've been on a Drive soundtrack binge and I just can't imagine a cooler / spookier track in honor of Friday the 13th. I mean, aren't we over "Thriller" and "Monster Mash?" This song has some deep, dark synths tied with some melodic keys. We get the impression that the song might refer to a Werewolf. One of the lines sings, "There's something inside you, it's hard to explain, they're talking about boy, but you're still the same." I don't know about you, but it gives me chills every time. [Ed's note: I can confirm this is the best song ever.]
The Shins - "Dead Alive"
Okay so this song won't have you jumping out of your skin, but it's The Shins so it's being added to the list. "Dead Alive" may have an uplifting vibe and melody, but it's perfect to play on Friday the 13th. The chorus may sound upbeat, however, it contains some pretty creepy lyrics like, "So tonight, dance and cry, the dead alive." It's also one of The Shins' newer songs, so if you haven't heard it yet, give it a listen. Play this track tonight before hitting the town and you'll be sure to get your friends in the mood for a spooky/wild night.
Childish Gambino - "Zombies"
Childish Gambino aka Donald Glover acts as if he's telling a creepy bedtime story as he first starts singing on this track. He is very descriptive throughout the song and seems to have a frightened tone in his voice. The more we listen, we begin to assume Glover is not actually referring to zombies at all, but to gold diggers, the media, or perhaps, society today in general. Glover sings "All I see are zombies, hear them screaming at her, they can smell your money, and they want your soul." The song starts off pretty eerie, but then turns into a jazzy, rock 'n' roll vibe with dope electric guitar solos. It doesn't have to be Friday the 13th for me to play this track on repeat.
Roky Erickson - "I Walked With A Zombie"
I discovered Roky Erickson's music after the Marfa Myths music festival announced that he was headlining, now I can't stop listening. Roky is a pioneer of psychedelic rock and has put out more than a few spooky songs in his 50+ years of recording. "I Walked With A Zombie" is a simple track, only using the lyrics "I walked with a zombie last night," but it's still so alluring and somehow got me hooked.
Bright Eyes - "Devil Town"
This song makes me feel all kind of ways. Daniel Johnston, the cult songwriter known for his simplicity and heartbreaking lyrics, originally penned this song in 1990. Daniel's recording is just his voice, singing the lovely melody, but Bright Eyes took this melody and made it into a haunting guitar jam. They somehow maintained the innocence and paranoia that Daniel Johnston was known for. Spooky but soft.
OG Maco - "U Guessed It"
Okay, so this isn't Friday 13th spooky, but it's definitely startling. The first time I heard this song I remember being both confused and on edge; at first I thought it was a joke. I think it's the way he overloads the microphone with a full blown yell and then just as quick, returns to his normal voice to say, "You was right." It's a musical jump scare.
Stevie Wonder - "Superstition"
Stevie Wonder is my main man. And this song couldn't be more fitting for Friday the 13th. I mean, you'll only have bad luck if you believe in this whole Friday the 13th mumbo jumbo, right? This song will get you dancin' right into the 14th.
ELO - "Strange Magic"
I almost forgot about this song but when I think of Friday the 13th, this song immediately comes to mind. "Now I see the way it's got to end / Sweet dream, sweet dream" - that's pretty much what all of you out there who are superstitious need to focus on. Just make it to the end of today with nothing but good thoughts and it'll be tomorrow before you know it.
Jimi Hendrix - "Voodoo Child"
I couldn't leave this one out. Jimi Hendrix's entire discography has this beautiful eeriness to it and should always be played on Friday the 13th. This has always been one of my favorite Hendrix songs and Im especially obsessed with the introduction and its a perfect song for today.
Bishop Briggs - "Wild Horses"
I think where this song gets super spooky is in the drop - that eerie little trickle will shake your bones.
Mitski - "Crack Baby"
Mitski's vocal is so haunting... The way she continues to repeat "crack baby, you don't know what you want," running up and down the scale with little "oohs" strategically placed in the background, working up to a fantastic build. It's chilling.
Dead Man's Bones - "My Body's a Zombie For You"
Dead Man's Bones were a short-lived band - created by Ryan Gosling and only lasting for one album cycle, but they released one pretty damn good album. With a children's choir, Gosling's introverted vocal, and the retro production - it can be a pretty low key "spooker." Yeah, spooker ain't a word. But now it is.
Phantogram - "Funeral Pyre"
Another creepy tune...