It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Not of the red + green variety. We’re talking the black + orange kind of business. Even Sulley gets in on the Halloween-time fun!

This is the time of year that I truly love most. I crave it’s return, and not just because of how much I love All Hallows Eve. The dramatic displays of nature, the coolness, the delicious smells and incredible colors! There’s so much to love. This will be our first Midwest fall in almost five years. John and I have sincerely enjoyed getting reacquainted with all our favorite fall traditions, and specifically, what autumn means to Michiganders: apple orchards, pumpkin patches, color tours, canning and baking goods from our summer gardens. It’s the season of the harvest and a time to appreciate all the good things that nature provides to us, in so many ways.

When Sulley and I had our mini photo shoot for his masked portrait (above), I kept looking at the gems on the mask and thinking of last night’s Glee episode, “Tina in the Sky with Diamonds.” The episode was good – they’ve been on a Beatles kick – but the promo for next week’s episode, Farewell to Finn, is what really stuck with me. If you’re a fan of the show, I know you’re having a tough time with it, too. We all have to say goodbye to Finn Hudson, the character previously played by actor Cory Monteith, who lost his life this summer to a drug overdose. I’m not sure how they’ll celebrate and say farewell to Finn in the upcoming episode, how they’ll acknowledge Cory’s death through Finn’s, but I know they’ll do it respectfully and graciously and truly honor his memory. It’s far from just a TV show. It’s real life playing out on screen, especially this subject matter – it hits close to home for so many, and you start to think about how this could happen to anyone who is battling the proverbial inner demons. It’s difficult to hear those we love most criticized in their darkest hours, their greatest times of need. I know the upcoming episode will speak to all of us who have watched those we love struggle in this way, even those who are no longer with us. It’s hard to describe the importance of Cory’s Finn, the importance of a show like Glee, without writing enough to fill 50 blog posts. Jane Lynch’s tribute to Cory during this year’s Emmys sums it up perfectly. Watch it here. I’ll be stocking up on Kleenex for next week’s episode.

A stillness starts to creep into everything around this time of year. I like my autumn-season tunes to match. I like my Halloween playlists to be subtly spooky, melancholy and mellow, and to include tunes I can enjoy all year long. This particular playlist is packed with some of my favorite new talents, like Lorde, Haim, and Bastille, and newer jams from The National and Phosphorescent (The Quotidian Beasts has to be one of my all-time favorite songs!) Lauren O’Connell’s beautifully eerie cover of The Animals’ House of the Rising Sun is also featured, and if you’re a fan of American Horror Story, you’ll recognize the song from the promos for their upcoming season, Coven. I get goosebumps just thinking about the coming season!

If you subscribe to this playlist on Spotify, you might wonder about the PPMC at the beginning of the playlist title. One of my very favorite people, Trina of Post Interactive, and I totally brought back pen pal activities with a new and improved spin thanks to online social tools! PPMC stands for Pen Pal Music Club. There’s also literary and culinary divisions, and I’m hopeful that our efforts will continue to grow. Distance is no match for committed pen pals!

Enjoy this year’s Halloween playlist!
Sulley in the Sky with Diamonds

1. Ring A Bell by Noah Gundersen
2. Anna Sun by Walk the Moon
3. Autumn Tree by Milo Greene
4. Glory And Gore by Lorde
5. Ghost Lights by Woodkid and Bruno Bertoli
6. Hudson by Vampire Weekend
7. The Quotidian Beasts by Phosphorescent
8. Death’s Song by City and Colour
9. Bad Blood by Bastille
10. Gods & Monsters by Lana del Rey *explicit
11. Worn Crush Corduroy by Quiet Hounds
12. Sacrilege by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
13. Send Me Down by Haim
14. Wendell Walker Andy Shauf
15. Biting Down by Lorde
16. Animal by Air Review
17. Dark Doo Wop by MS MR
18. Demons by The National
19. House of the Rising Son by Lauren O’Connell
20. All Night by Icona Pop

Want to see a track added to the playlist? Send me an email and let me know!

– Emily