As the calendar turns to October, kids immediately begin thinking about this month’s hallowed holiday of Halloween. It’s a chance to costume up and meticulously plan the route that will manifest into the most bountiful haul of candied booty. And so, designer Alex Flores has gone into his design dungeon to summon our newest Spire on Spotify playlist inspired by Halloween, Vol. 15: Let’s Boogey, Man.
Halloween or Hallowe’en, also known as Allhalloween, All Hallows’ Eve, or All Saints’ Eve, is a celebration attributed to Celtic folk customs and beliefs, some of which are believed to have had pagan roots. Despite there being so much darkness in this holiday, there is even more green. That’s because Halloween is the second-largest commercial holiday behind Christmas.
The National Retail Federation found an estimated 65% of Americans plan to celebrate Halloween this year, up from 58% in the COVID year of 2020 and nearing pre-pandemic levels. Of those who do, the top activities top activities are hand out candy (66%), decorate (52%), dress up (46%), carve a pumpkin (44%) and throw/attend a party (25%). Households with children are much more likely to celebrate Halloween (82%) than those without (55%).
Consumer spending on Halloween-related items is expected to reach an all-time high of $10.14 billion, up from $8.05 billion in 2020, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual Halloween Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. Breaking it down further, Americans plan to spend $3.3 billion on costumes, $3 billion on candy, $3.2 billion on decorations, and more than half a billion dollars on greeting cards.
“Americans plan to spend more than ever to make this Halloween a memorable one,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Retailers have implemented a number of measures, such as bringing in Halloween products earlier than normal, to ensure their shelves are stocked with seasonal candy, décor, and other items ahead of this important holiday.”
Consumers are expected to spend an average $102.74 on Halloween in 2021, $10 more than they planned to spend last year. Households with children are estimated to spend more than twice the amount than households without children ($149.69 compared with $73.57) on Halloween items.
The 2021 top costumes for kids in order are spiderman, princess, batman, and superhero. For pets, the top picks this year are pumpkin, hotdog, superhero, and bumblebee. And for adults, the favorites are witch, vampire, ghost, and cat.
If you need some recommendations on Halloween movies, New York’s The Cut has compiled a list of the top 40 frightful flicks to catch this October. But if you’re looking for mystical music, you’re in the right place. That’s because designer Alex Flores has brewed up our newest Spire on Spotify playlist to get you into the spirit of the season.
Alex, what is the name of your album?
The album is called Let’s Boogey, Man. No matter your upbringing, we all know about the bad ol’ Bogeyman. Unlike with the Bogeyman, there are no jump-scares here—only hits that will make you jump up and boogie down. It’s full of nostalgic and familiar tunes while also bringing you a little something contemporary that gets you into the Halloween spirit.
How would you describe this mix?
This mix has a little bit of everything that screams Halloween. It can be spooky, eerie, and at times ghoulish but always with good vibes that you can get up and dance to at a house or office party. It was important for me to frame up this playlist with the idea that no matter what your age, or whether you are in costume or not, you can still have a good time.
What was the inspiration behind it?
It’s inspired by everything most people like about this time of the year: scary movies, dressing up in costume, pumpkins, candy, and Halloween parties. I do have to admit that when I was tasked to create this month’s playlist, my mind first went to horror movies of the 80s in which the protagonists were kids and teens. Movies like The Monster Squad, Silver Bullet, and The Gate are just a few films that have spooky music scores that are engraved in my brain. I let that inspiration springboard me into some classics and some contemporary tunes you may not immediately connect with Halloween, but quickly sinks its teeth into the overall theme.
What is your favorite song, and why?
“Somebody’s Watching Me” by Rockwell is one of my favorites. It has a quirky and catchy feel to it with fun synth sounds that was frequently used by other pop stars of the 80s. It’s very eerie and at times haunting without taking itself too seriously—on brand for this time of year. Of course, it’s an easy song to groove and dance to making it a go-to for parties and kickbacks.
If your playlist was a brand, what would it be and why?
It would be a Milky Way Midnight, which is a dark chocolate candy bar. I remember getting a few of these each year when I would trick-or-treat on Halloween. What better thing to eat around this time of year than dark chocolate while listening to songs that get you in the Halloween spirit? And it goes without saying that the king-sized bars are the only way to go when handing out candy!
Any specific memory that comes to mind when you listen?
This mix of songs reminds me of my first time trick-or-treating sans parents as a pre-teen, circa early 2000s. I stayed up well past midnight eating the night’s haul of candy with friends and watching movies like Halloween and A Nightmare on Elm Street. The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone had just released in theaters, so naturally we dressed up as characters from those movies. I sported a thick faux beard, chainmail, and carried a plastic axe which made for the best costume in the neighborhood.
What makes your playlist unique?
This playlist is unique because while it has some songs that are iconic and a given for Halloween, it also has some ghoulish songs that sneak up on you that you might not have thought of right off the bat. A good example of that is “Creep” covered by Carolesdaughter. Originally sung by Radiohead, this cover unexpectedly takes a spooky spin on a moody classic that can give you chills and feels that are cohesive with the rest of the playlist.