The Horror Bookshelf Playlist

Posted: October 5, 2014 in Features, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,


It’s been a little over two months since Grey Matter Press announced their open call for latest anthology, the music-inspired Savage Beasts. I know I am going to be a little early with this post as they have not announced the stories that have been accepted or a release date, but this is a book I am really excited about! Inspired by their upcoming release and my love of music, I have decided to put together a playlist of songs that I enjoy listening to while writing and/or have some connection to horror. It could be the song title, lyrics or music video, but a lot of these songs do have some connection to horror themes. I have created a Spotify playlist and provided a short explanation for each song I picked. The songs span a pretty wide variety of genres, so while you may not enjoy every song, hopefully there are a few you like. I had a ton of other songs that could have made the cut, so I may break these up in installments. Enjoy!


1. Mogwai “Now You’re Taken” – Mogwai is hands down one of my favorite post-rock bands and this is easily my favorite track by them. This is one of their few songs with vocals (provided by Arab Strap’s Aidan Moffat) and is absolutely perfect for chilly fall evenings.

2. Early Day Miners “Errance” – I don’t know what it is about this song, but it has been on just about every playlist and mix CD I have ever made from high school all the way until I decided to make this playlist. “Errance” is a warm and atmospheric track that has accompanied a large bulk of everything I have ever written.

3. Gregor Samsa “Jeroen Van Aken”– Largely piano driven, Gregor Samsa’s “Jeroen Van Aken” is an absolutely beautiful song that utilizes its simplicity as its greatest strength. Haunting lyrics such as “it seems the devil’s got a grip on me” and the song’s allusion to writing make this track one that not only has roots to horror but writing as well.

4. Radiohead “Pyramid Song” – A haunting song by one of the most original bands around. No description I could give would do “Pyramid Song” justice, just know that it is alleged that Thom Yorke once called this song the best Radiohead ever recorded at the time.

5. Deerhunter “Fluorescent Grey” – A pretty catchy song that centers around death and obsession, this was one of the first songs that began my obsession with indie rock.

6. Snowden “No Words No More” – The only cover song to appear on this list, Snowden’s brilliant take on Love and Rockets “No Words No More” is an atmospheric track that somehow manages to feel both gloomy and beautiful at the same time.

7. Explosions In The Sky “Your Hand In Mine” – Explosions In The Sky’s lush and cinematic arrangements make for some excellent writing music and this is one of their best.

8. Converge ” You Fail Me” – “You Fail Me” is a dark and visceral track from the band’s critically acclaimed 2004 album You Fail Me. The churning, metallic guitars, Jacob Bannon’s throat-shredding vocals and track’s slow-burning menace conjures up images of an apocalyptic wasteland and made this a “no-brainer” selection for this playlist.

9. Interpol “NYC” – I have been a huge fan of Interpol and their take on post-punk since their landmark 2002 debut Turn On The Bright Lights. “NYC” used to be the perfect soundtrack to my late night walks back to my dorm room in college.

10. Soundgarden “Fell On Black Days” – This was always my favorite Soundgarden song and its appearance on one of my favorite TV shows, Supernatural, made it a natural pick for this playlist.

11. TV On The Radio “Wolf Like Me” – TV On The Radio is an incredible indie-rock band that can boast about the fact that David Bowie is one of their fans, which should really tell you all you need to know about how good this band is. I can’t speak about the true meaning behind the song, but based on the B-movie inspired music video for “Wolf Like Me”, it’s about turning into a werewolf. How could it not make this playlist? Check out the music video here.

12. The Rolling Stones “Sympathy For The Devil” – I don’t think this selection really needs any explanation!

13. Cloud Nothings “No Future/No Past” – I was blown away by this song the first time I heard it. I had never really listened to Cloud Nothings prior to this track, but they supposedly leaned more toward the pop side of indie-rock before deciding to record 2012’s Attack on Memory with Steve Albini and shifting to heavier sounding songs. The music video for the song was directed by John Ryan Manning and was what really makes this song stick in my mind. I don’t want to spoil the ending, but the video opens on a man seemingly being dragged by an unknown force just outside the camera’s view. It is one of the coolest and creepiest music videos I have seen in a while and I definitely recommend checking it out. I think this premise would have made an excellent short story.

14. Deftones “Change (In The House of Flies)” – Besides the fact that I just think this is an awesome song and one of the Deftones best, it gets its horror connection from being included in The Following and Dexter.

15. Young Widows “Kerosene Girl” – Young Widows is one of my favorite post-hardcore bands and this monolithic track is a must-listen for fans of heavy music.

16. Les Savy Fav “Adopduction” – One of my absolute favorite songs from the brilliant Les Savy Fav, the song is about a dream in which the narrator was kidnapped and slowly develops Stockholm Syndrome.


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