I love making lists, and I love especially making playlists. My favorite season is fall, and my husband and I have a tradition of making and mailing fall mixtapes as part of our celebration of the Fall Equinox/Winter Finding.
Here are my Top 10 Favorite Haunting/Creepy/Cozy Alt-Country & Folk Songs to Welcome Fall. Give them a listen and recommend me some! If you want to take part in #TopTenTuesdays, head over to The Broke and Bookish.
- “Annabelle Lee,” Sarah Jarosz
A beautiful bluegrass rendition of ‘Annabelle Lee.’
“We were children bothIn this kingdom by the seaBut we loved with a love that was more than loveI and my Annabelle LeeWith a love that the winged angels highCoveted her and me”
- “Hell’s Bells,” Lauren Shera
“I’ve been dreaming in foreign languagesI’ve been seeing in black and whiteI’ve been tired and restless as a childYou know that my heart was always wild”
- “In the Room Where You Sleep,” Dead Man’s Bones
This is Ryan Gosling’s band, and they’ve got a great sound.
“There’s something in the shadowsIn the corner of your roomA dark heart is beating and waiting for youThere is no open window but the floors still creepIn the room where you sleepIn the room where you sleep, where you sleep”
- “Make a Shadow,” Meg Myers
“My heart is fire, my heart is youngI’m only only in the only only in the in the shadows”
- “Goldmine,”I Draw Slow
This Irish bluegrass band is my favorite. “Goldmine” is about an Old West prostitute with a heart of gold.
“O my heartWill never be the same againNot even in the arms of other menBecause an old time song with an old time feelIt was written for my heart to stealOh my loveI only wanna hear your voiceBut I sell myself cause I have no choiceBut for an old time song in an old time airI paint my face and I curl my hair”
- “Wolf,” First Aid Kit
“Wolf mother, where you been?You look so worn, so thinYou’re a taker, devil’s makerLet me hear you sing, hey ya hey yaWolf father, at the doorYou don’t smile anymoreYou’re a drifter, shapeshifterLet me see you run, hey ya hey ya”
- “Hex,” Neko Case
One of Neko’s best covers. As always, her voice is haunting. I imagine it drifting across the bayou, or filtering in through the screen door.
“When you hear me calling your name in the nightDo you run to your window thinking a coyote mightBe howlingWhen you hear me knocking at your door againDo you tell yourself it’s only the windThat’s blowingWhen you watch the sun sink down in the westDo you tell yourself that the heart in your chestIs still beating”
- “Mama Don’t Cry,” I Draw Slow
“I dream of a boat, empty as a graveComing night after night, coming wave after wave”
- “Praying Arm Lane,” 16 Horsepower
One of my favorite 16 Horsepower songs. The imagery and poetry of their lyrics is what turned me onto alt-country in the first place.
“I told it fast an gladThe color of a slow drinkOr so they saySo they say by the light of dayHidden ‘neath their wingsOf black, brown and grey”
- “Liza,” Wrinkle Neck Mules
A sinister love story, from the POV of a man who kidnaps the woman he loves. WNM is a Virginia-based band who really need more exposure.
“I dreamed we danced a waltz right up to the timberlineAnd tiptoed along the power wiresYour brown hair was trailing us half a mile behindOh Liza, I dreamed you were mineYou told your brother I was an evil manAnd he came at me with a machete in his handBut he never saw my pistol Lord and when he hit the groundHis eyes were shiny, silver and wild”