I always hear people gush about their favorite songs during the winter in anticipation of Christmas, but I never really hear anyone talk about what they listen to in autumn while waiting for Halloween to roll around the corner. I’ve heard of the classics such as “This is Halloween” from “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s “Monster Mash” and Michael Jackson’s iconic 1984 hit “Thriller.” I have heard a considerable amount of spooky songs through the years but I want to focus on these types of songs found in Korean Pop music.
First on our list is f(x)’s “Dracula,” the ninth track from their third studio album “Red Light.” A song by one of my favorite K-Pop groups of all time, “Dracula” is the perfect track for those who want to get into the Halloween spirit. With its ominous introduction given by a deep, brooding voice, echoes of a high-pitched scream throughout the song and lyrics warning the listener they better run from a foreboding presence, “Dracula” is a fun song with somewhat dark undertones. Another fun aspect of “Dracula” is its quirky choreography which can be seen from f(x)’s concert tour 4 Dimension – Docking Station.
Next up is SHINee’s “Married to the Music,” a funky-disco song released on the group’s repackaged album of the same name. While the song itself isn’t particularly Halloween-ish, it’s music video certainly is. With its imagery inspired by “‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show and other B-Grade horror films” (said by Tamar Herman of Billboard in their “20 K-Pop Songs for Your Halloween Playlist” article), the music video for “Married to the Music” is a fun watch. The five members of SHINee are seen attending a lively party where, throughout the video, each member loses parts of their body in wacky ways (don’t worry, it’s not graphic at all and is intended for comedic purposes) in order for a woman to create “the perfect man” at the video’s ending. I’d definitely give this song a listen if you want a more upbeat tune for Halloween.
Another personal favorite of mine, VIXX’s “Voodoo Doll” is the perfect song and music video for those who enjoy the scarier side of Halloween. Released as the second single off the group’s first studio album “Voodoo,” “Voodoo Doll” appears to tell the tale of an individual who is willing to sacrifice themselves in order to bring their lover happiness. Throughout the song, the narrator questions whether they should stay or leave this relationship. This theme is made evident in the song’s music video, where the six members of VIXX are imprisoned in chambers by a young woman who tortures them through a voodoo doll. Be warned, readers, this music video is graphic (it was given an R rating)! If you do plan to watch the music video for “Voodoo Doll,” be aware there are graphic images of organs and flesh being stabbed, cut open and even stapled. If you don’t think you can handle this, however, do check out the song!
Next is “Shadow,” a song performed by SHINee’s Taemin Lee from his second solo Korean extended play “Want.” When I first heard “Shadow,” I was immediately mesmerized by its enchanting introduction and dark, synth-like instrumental. Judging by the lyrics, “Shadow” appears to follow an individual who cannot let go of a past lover. No matter where they go, their past romance haunts them “like a shadow” and it seems as though their memory will haunt them forever. It’s an infectious tune that one will get stuck in their head upon the first listen and it’s one of my favorite K-Pop songs that is on the darker side. Taemin is at his best when it comes to this style and for my readers who do check out “Shadow” and find that they like it, I encourage you to check out the rest of Taemin’s discography. You definitely won’t be disappointed.
Last on our list is “Full Moon,” performed by solo singer Sunmi, a former member of the famous girl group Wonder Girls. The song also features Lena, a former trainee under JYP Entertainment. Released on her debut extended play of the same name, “Full Moon” (both song and music video) follow Sunmi as a vampire who beckons a lover to meet her under the full moon before sunrise. In the music video, scenes intercut between Sunmi dancing against a dark backdrop under the full moon in snowy terrain and her a young man who appears to be ill. As the video progresses, Sunmi bites the man’s neck and turns him, saving him from his sickness and thus allowing him to be with her forever. While the song isn’t particularly frightening, it’s sweet and melodic; the music video is also beautiful and aesthetically pleasing.
These are only a few of the many K-Pop songs I have heard that remind me of Halloween and October as a whole, but I encourage you to check out the ones I have mentioned above! These songs hold a special place in my heart, especially since four out of five of them I heard when I first got into the genre as a whole.