Nobody Wants to Party with Us: a Playlist for a Socially Distanced Halloween

14 tracks from 2020 that sum up this skin-crawly year.

No disrespect to Purity Ring, The xx, and witch house, but I’ve noticed a sort of flatlining in Halloween party playlists in recent years—sure, every year has its cinematic Suspiria remake soundtracks and its nihilistic “Satans in the Wait,” which get funneled into a playlist long enough to ensure there’s still music playing two hours after you’d intended your party to end, but your two friends who never seem to need sleep are still hanging around, each at least a case of High Life deep, discussing touchy sociopolitical issues in an anxiety-inducing manner that borders on problematic but never quite crosses that line while dressed either as either a Smurf, Steve Zissou, or Will Dafoe in The Lighthouse (it’s hard to tell a this point in the night). But it’s 2020 now, and it feels like we should be starting fresh.

And what better time than now, during a global pandemic, to start assembling the next decade of spooky soundtracks to socialize to in the future? Whether or not it has to do with 2020 literally being too dystopian for anyone to predict, the year’s seen its fair share of skin-crawl sounds concerning lucid encounters with the devil, cannibalism, extremely long chains, and the bogeymen running our country, musically spanning eerie Swedish organ music, the smooth production of James Blake, and an unsettling cover of Elliott Smith covering Schoolhouse Rock!. Whether it serves as the soundtrack to a weird Halloween in the solitary confinement of quarantine or as a means to scare off unwanted after-hour guests at your 2021 party, stream our 2020 Halloween playlist below.

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