10 Tori Songs to Help You Bring in The October Moon
Oh, hi. It’s me, David from The Songs of Tori Amos Podcast. You probably already know this about me, but if there’s anything I love as much as Tori it’s fall and the Halloween season. It’s my job to help infuse your life with cozy autumnal splendor, and I take it seriously!
While there’s certainly a Tori song for every season, let’s face it–all other seasons are garbage. So here you have it; my list of 10 Tori songs guaranteed to help you bring in the October moon. Throw on your ear buds and take a stroll with me. This is David’s walk through the corn maze. And remember, these playlists are built to be listened to, so click a link below and join us. Also, while you’re at it, check out our Podcast and please consider making a contribution to support the work we do!
To The Fair Motormaids of Japan
Summer comes and summer goes…
We had to wait 20+ years for this gem from the Boys For Pele era. Was it worth it? The girls say, “uhhh huhh”. And they STILL say, “Uhhh huhh.” Summer comes and summer goes, indeed. Acknowledging the change in seasons is a powerful way to mark the passage of time; are you leaving something behind? Such ache, much yearning! And what will you turn into? (Me: a pumpkin).
Help me bring in the October moon…
Rev the Triumph’s engine! We’re going to Vermont! For me, certain Tori songs are intrinsically linked to the time of year they were released. “Cloud Riders” (and much of Native Invader) pulses with the glowing embers of fall. Aside from the obvious reference to October, the lilting melody and warmth of the organ are an invitation to wander down a leaf-strewn path illuminated by shafts of golden light. Don’t worry, if you get lost I’ll dispatch a chariot pulled by cats.
Anybody knows you can conjure anything by the dark of the moon…
Seriously. Anybody knows that. Ooh, we’re getting witchy now, friends. There’s something dark and sinister happening here, in the best way possible. Twins, perhaps evil. And don’t even get me started on the conjuring. Remember those performances from the Native Invader tour where Tori hunched over the keys and went full crone? The production on this track from To Venus and Back can’t be beat. It somehow manages to evoke unseen things skittering in the darkness, and what’s that creeping into your ears around the 2:08 mark? There’s a subtle sonic flourish under the line about fear and faith that could conceivably by the rattling of bones, or skeletal tree branches scraping against your windowpane. And then like the prankster she is, Tori jumps out for one final scare…SUEDE!
Can you feel them, yes, touching hands before our eyes
Halloween is when the veil grows thin and the spirits wander, and no other Tori song captures that more perfectly than “Sister Janet”. This gorgeous b-side originally released in 1994 became an unlikely staple of Tori’s 2017 tour. She has shared precious little insight into what she’s exploring here, but with all the lighting of candles, holding of hands, and sightings of dearly departed loved ones, it’s not impossible that we’re at some kind of séance. So let’s throw on the 2015 Under the Pink re-master and contact the other side. Knock twice if you can GIT IT, sister!
You just lift your lamp
You must admit your ears are now in good hands with the title track from Scarlet’s Walk. Lift your lamp and pierce the gloom of the autumn mists swirling their way through this stunner.
If you see three candles in the window
I know what you’re thinking. Halloween. BATS. David…isn’t that a little too on-the-nose? Calm down. To be fair, I don’t think Tori is singing about literal bats on this track from Native Invader. How many bats do you know with a teaching gig at William and May-ray? That’s what I thought. For lack of a more poetic way to describe it, this song just sounds like fall. There’s something almost ritualistic happening here, and I’m pretty sure our coven has agreed to convene when we see the sign of three candles in the window. Yes, dripped in mist sisters rise. I’ll bring the chips.
What is Fall if not the space in-between? Maybe your life is in a similar state of transition: not quite summer, not quite winter, and perhaps you haven’t quite gotten a glimpse of your next destination. Weatherman has got your back. Tori has shared that this 2014 track from Unrepentant Geraldines tells the story of a grieving man who can’t move on from the woman that he’s lost. Spend some time with Autumn’s peach black if you’re not quite ready to embrace the next season of your life.
Nothing’s gonna stop me from floating
Believe it or not, this is a sonic choice not at all motivated by a desire to include a lame reference to the Devil on a Halloween inspired playlist. It’s like you don’t know me at all! Yes, this track from Boys for Pele is my favorite Tori song of all time, and it goes out from me right to your sweet, sweet candy corn soul. I invite you to throw on “Father Lucifer” and gaze out a rain streaked window on a chilly October night while you ponder the secrets nestled in the fall foliage. If the mournful trumpet doesn’t make you stare into your hot cider with a warm feeling of melancholy, you might be dead already.
The Chase (Sin Palabras)
We’re reaching the end here. The days are short, the shadows are long, and there’s a storm gathering on the horizon. There’s tension snaking its way through this instrumental version of The Chase from Night of Hunters that makes me want to take action. Or run! But also pour myself a glass of wine and plan my Thanksgiving menu.
Give me life, give me pain, give me myself again
Throw on a cloak and find yourself a ceremonial pile of rocks! “Little Earthquakes” from Little Earthquakes is cyclical, eerily gorgeous, and a reliable source of comfort just like autumn itself. One can easily imagine the chanting male backing vocals are heralding the arrival of Samhaim. Ah, but winter will be here before we know it. Don’t forget to invite me to your Christmas party—I think it’s a good year for it.
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