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Ah, Halloween: It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year... for Music

A zombie has a better chance of making it through the heavy ordnance firing range near my house than I have of making a mix – even a Halloween mix—that doesn’t devolve into sad, introspective territory.

Some Very Good 'Halloweeney' Songs

Here are some of the best “Halloweeny” songs to come out in the past year:

Magnolia Mountain, “Hellbound Train”

Album: Redbird Green

Website: Magnolia


A bluesy barn-burning rock ‘n’ roll song about getting on that hellbound train as it feasts on lost souls, and engaging in a little snake hip moan as you “drink a little whiskey, bourbon, beer, and wine”. Not exactly the most penitent attitude (although the pleas to Jesus do come later), but it sounds like this is just the sort of train that would take you to…

Anais Mitchell, “Hadestown”

Album: Hadestown

Website: Anais


With contributions from Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, Ani Difranco, the Low Anthem’s Ben Knox Miller, Greg Brown, and the Haden Triplets, Hadestown is a full-blown folk opera based on the Oprheus myth. The title track is a rousing number that makes the underworld sound like an expoited mill town under the iron thumb of Mr. Hades.

Josh Ritter, “The Curse”

Album: So Runs the World Away

Website: Josh


Tender and stately, the bittersweet tale of an archaeologist and a mummy falling in love with one another.

The National, “Anyone’s Ghost”

Album: High Violet

Website: American


OK, this is one of those “ghost of a relationship” songs, but I totally dig that part about “Go out at night with your headphones on again / And walk through the Manhattan valleys of the dead”.

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