Black cats and pumpkins, as summer’s gold turns into autumn’s orange, thoughts go towards haunts and pre-winter spooks. One of my favorite Halloween themed music collections was made available last year by neopagan musician S.J. Tucker. She hand picked her most enchanting songs from her previous albums and put them together in Witchy Ways: An October Mix Tape .Her lyrics draw on folklore and magic, stirring an audible feast celebrating Samhain.
The album starts with a sinuous love song to a young witch, introducing the other tracks through the lens of her affection. It is as if she calls you to dance around a campfire as she spins her tales, be it an adaptation of “Tam Lin,” the worship of the horned god with “Hymn to Herne,” or the echoes of the ghostly “City of Marrow.” Serious content is placed among winking irreverence, coy with comedy like the “Salad of Doom.” Wanderlust is instilled into the mood of the music, invoking the lady on the road under a full harvest moon. Tucker’s lyrics are rich with literary allusions, and the research can be as much fun as the folk rock listening experience. Here is a treat for all you witches out there.