I’m hosting a neighborhood Halloween party later this month, and I know what music will be blasting from my speakers – Halloween Carols by Kristin Lawrence.
Kristin, a trained organist, (that’s an illustration of her there, on the cover!) has always been enchanted by the Halloween season and has written over 60 of these carols, releasing them 13 at a time. Her newest album is called A Broom With A View. It includes some of the most beautiful organ music I have ever heard. Usually when you think of Halloween music, “Monster Mash” and cheesy sound effects come to mind. With Kristen’s Halloween Carols, this no longer has to be the case!
With songs like “Mostly Ghostly,” “Flappy Bat,” and “Cats in the Catacombs,” every aspect of Halloween is covered. Kristin’s voice is amazing – ethereal even – making many of these songs seem almost like lullabies.
My favorite song is the title song, “A Broom With A View”. It has a fun playfulness to it. The following songs, as well as a few instrumental versions are also included on A Broom With A View:
- Mostly Ghostly – A ghost bemoans the lack of physical brains, wailing with a massive pipe organ.
- A Broom With A View – The Halloween night sky invites a witch out for a joy ride on her broom. Organ, piano, and strings set this witch “ablaze” as she takes in the beauty and wonder of October.
- Souling Song – All Hallows Version – Traditional English melody and lyrics about the practice of “souling” – offering prayers for people’s beloved departed in exchange for soul cakes. Arrangement and additional melodies by Kristen.
- Souling Song – Samhain Version – A different take on the traditional song, describing the ancient Celtic celebration of Samhain, where the dead were believed to visit the earth, accept food offerings, and share their magic. Arrangement, additional melodies, and new lyrics by Kristen. Drums, organ, electric guitar and bass, and voices dance together like wild pagans around a Samhain bonfire.
- Dark Glass – Written about a mesmerizing dream Kristen had with surreal Halloween imagery. Windy sounds and distant voices set against organ and strings give the impression of floating through the sky.
- Cats In The Catacombs – A xylophone-bone-clinking romp with organ and piano where cats lurking around the catacombs get “spooked to poofs of nerves and fur.” Featuring a feline-esque cello.
- Sleeping Dust (“The Death Lullaby”) – Ashes To Ashes Version – A sweet lullaby about death to sing to the dead or the living. Organ, piano, celesta, and humming take us from simple beginnings to simple endings with a world of intensity in between.
- Flappy Bat – The old Samhain bonfires attracted insects, which in turn attracted bats. In medieval times, burning witches at the stake attracted bats for the same reason, deepening the Halloween association. This carol’s vocal duet and patterns in the strings sound like the flapping wings of bats.
- Vampire Empire – An invitation from a vampire to a mortal to become one of the blood-hungry undead. A majestic organ and wicked harpsichord waltz together while two kick drums thump like heartbeats.
Visit www.halloweencarols.com for more information and to learn more about Kristin Lawrence as well. You can also follow @HalloweenCarols and @ABroomWithAView on Twitter and become fans on their facebook page!
A Broom With A View is available at CD Baby, and will be on iTunes, Amazon, and other stores soon!
Kristen would like to give one of you the opportunity to win this CD. To enter, please leave a comment telling me what your favorite Halloween-themed music is.
For extra entries:
- Subscribe to my feed (or let me know if you already do).
- Follow me on Twitter (@OhMariana) and tweet about this giveaway: Hear any good Halloween music lately? Win a CD of @HalloweenCarols from @ohMariana!
- Grab my button (at the bottom of the page) and link to me in your sidebar or blog roll.
Contest ends: October 21st, 2009 11:59 pm EST. US and Canadian entries only. Leave a separate comment for each entry & a valid email address/blog URL. Winner, chosen at random, has 3 days to claim their prize.