From the leaves changing colors to the many pumpkins and gourds that start to populate porches and stoops, October is that time of year where we officially leave Summer behind and truly celebrate the Autumn season before the holidays kick everything into first gear. Music also starts to change this time of year, as people begin to move on from their summer party anthems to songs that are slightly moodier, spookier, and a bit darker. So whether you’re planning on holding a party to celebrate the change in seasons or a costume bash to fully embrace the spirit of All Hollow’s Eve, here is a selection of both contemporary and timeless party tracks that are ideal for your October fest.
Kanye West – “Monster”
Four years on and this is still probably best known as the song where Nicki Minaj went from promising talent to the queen of rap almost over night. After ‘Ye and Jay-Z have their go’s, rapping about vampires, ghouls, and goblins, Minaj spends over a minute displaying why she’s the real monster in the room. This is one of those songs where as soon as her verse comes on, you’ll have a room of costumed revelers rapping along to every word.
Missy Elliot – “Get Your Freak On”
You can basically look to any Missy music video from the past near-twenty years and get a spooky vibe from her crazy Hype Williams-assisted visuals, but this Timbaland-produced banger has an equally eerie sonic quality to it. From its Bhangra sample to its Jungle-inspired breakbeats, this is not the first song you’d think of to rock a party, but it’s been doing just that for almost fifteen years and it’s oddly turned-up vibe is perfect to get your Halloween party truly bumping.
Tyler the Creator – “Yonkers”
Ever since Odd Future burst on the scene, their music has frequently been compared to the Horrorcore stylings of such ghostly rappers as Tha Gravediggaz. But with “Yonkers” Tyler managed to create something much darker and much harder than anything that had come before. From the music video’s bleak premise—which ends with Tyler hanging from the ceiling—to the track’s brittle beats and unsettling atmospherics, this is a great track to put on early in the night to get your crowd in a Halloween-friendly mood.
Talking Heads – “Psycho Killer”
One of the granddaddies of modern Halloween party anthems, this song has been soundtracking the more arty October parties since 1977 and its timelessly disturbing lyrics and cracking beat continue to make it a solid choice for your party selection. So rehearse your French, get into a ‘killer’ party mood, and boogie down to this all-time classic.
Three 6 Mafia – “Break Da Law ‘95”
Another stone-cold classic by the Memphis rap pioneers, this song used to literally cause club crowds to lose it and, well, start breaking the law. While hopefully your aim is to promote slightly more acceptable (and legal) mischief, this is still a solid selection to get your crowd in the Halloween mindset of letting loose and getting wild in a way you likely won’t get to again until New Year’s Eve.
Ready to start planning your Halloween party today? Check out Nanina’s In The Park or The Park Savoy to make your celebration truly one that will be giving people the chills (in a good way!) for years to come.