Well, my fellow goblins and ghouls, spooky season is upon us. The season of ghosts and jack-o’-lanterns is always a crowd favorite but doesn’t get the same treatment as Christmas when it comes to music. It is basically impossible to escape Christmas tunes once December hits. Halloween has a few classics that have grown tied to the holiday, but spooky compilations are mostly wordless, atmospheric music.
Kim Petras has launched a one-woman campaign to change that. The German pop singer cannot be stopped from releasing music. And honestly, why would we want her to? Last year, she dropped “TURN OFF THE LIGHT, Vol. 1,” an eight track EP inspired by the Halloween season that turned the graveyard into the dance floor.
Now, just months after releasing her debut album, “Clarity,” and completing her first headlining tour, she adds nine sinister new tracks to make a full Halloween album. It builds perfectly on the EP and continues to grow the creepy pop world she has imagined.
“TURN OFF THE LIGHT” is the perfect album to get you into the spooky mindset. It’s full of tense chords and eerie synths. It is a Halloween project that takes you from the streets to the club and back to the bedroom of a haunted mansion.
The album drifts more into the dream pop realm than Petras’ other music. It is club-ready music for sure, focusing more on the Halloween vibe than lyricism. There are samples of knives sharpening, screams, crashes and chilling distorted voice overs. The tracks blend perfectly from one to the next. Many of them are instrumental interludes meant to keep you locked into this scary soundscape, dragging you in deeper.
The production is led with brooding bass synths that mix with 808s to make intoxicating, dark dance tracks. Petras really knows how to create an anthemic hook, and “TURN OFF THE LIGHT” is full of them.
Out of the new tracks, “Wrong Turn” and “Massacre” are the highlights. “Wrong Turn” mimics the moment in a horror movie when the character is stuck on the side of a dirt road and all they can hear are the branches cracking in the woods coming closer and closer. Petras and her co-writers construct the narrative in the second person to put the listener in the song.
“Massacre” is a down-tempo track that shows off Petras’ vocals. Interestingly enough, it interpolates the melody of classic Christmas track “Carol of the Bells.” But the words here paint a very different picture: “Blood on the floor / Glamour and gold stain on the glass / Make this the last night that you’re here / Bites on your neck.” It’s a spine-chilling track.
“Death by Sex” is a cheeky track that is probably the easiest to get away with playing year round. “There Will Be Blood” sounds the most like a regular Kim Petras song, but the lyrical content is much more chilling than “I Don’t Want It At All” or “Heart to Break.”
“TURN OFF THE LIGHT” is the perfect album to soundtrack your spooky season. It’s pop perfection with specific intentions. So throw on that school girl outfit and get down to some scary beats before Jason arrives.
Also, don’t miss Petras live in concert when she plays at The Fillmore on November 19.