Kim Petras Releases Long-Awaited Halloween Album

Kim Petras Releases Long-Awaited Halloween Album

TURN OFF THE LIGHT is the first holiday album we actually asked for.

TURN OFF THE LIGHT is the first holiday album we actually asked for.

Text: Brooke Kushwaha

Kim Petras has been teasing ghoulish glamor for weeks, but on October 1st, the wait was over. Volume two of her Halloween-themed EP TURN OFF THE LIGHT emerged from the depths and immediately charted into the US top 10. When you think of Halloween music, you typically think of dated ditties such as the “Monster Mash” or the Ghostbusters theme song, but Petras has revolutionized the holiday genre with a club-heavy, decidedly modern two-part album. Last year, TURN OFF THE LIGHT VOL. 1 boasted bangers such as “Close Your Eyes” and “TRANSylvania,” and Petras continued her penchant for horror-camp in the second release. The most recent half leans more heavily on EDM the previous time, and the instrumental dance tracks play even more with the signature sounds of horror. “Knives” is exactly what it sounds like, employing knife-sharpening foley as the backdrop to a synth-heavy beat. “Purgatory,” the album’s opener, begins with over thirty seconds of door creaks and creeping, cinematic buildup before dropping the bass. 

Petras has long cultivated a fervent gay following for her commitment to exaggeration and tongue-in-cheek, Internet-savvy aestheticism, and TOTL is no exception. As mentioned before, her lead-up to the album included heavily photoshopped, demonic images of Petras with marbled eyes and claw-like manicures. Anyone who’s seen a botched cosmetics job knows the line between beauty and horror is a fine one. “Death By Sex” most resembles Petras’ earlier work, taking pop formula to a science and blasting the hook with Petras’ effortlessly powerhouse vocals. The line “Skinniest waist, you’re gonna love it” has already entered the gay canon by capitalizing on preexisting slang. Few artists absorb and repackage gay culture as quickly as Petras, who bolsters her Twitter presence with memes and retweets of fans on an hourly basis.“Death By Sex” is too much of a good thing, but rather than preach moderation, Petras assumes a Black Widow character, reveling in the danger. 

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Although TURN OFF THE LIGHT came out a full year after the first volume, there’s a unity to both halves. Petras has a signature, sonic cohesion that’s rare for rising artists who often have not yet established their sound. She’s swerved from candy-pop to hip-hop, but ironically, her Halloween EP betrays an artistry much more sophisticated than a seasonal cash grab. Traditionally, pop stars would often drop Christmas albums in hopes of achieving a family-friendly reputation, but Halloween is a surprisingly slept-upon season. The holiday once reserved for kids has taken new life among millennials who increasingly identify it as their favorite holiday, not least in part because of its party potential. College campuses and nightclubs alike go crazy for Halloween, so it’s only natural that the canon of spooky tunes receives an update. While Billie Eilish often gets the credit for ushering in a new generation of edgier pop music, Kim Petras continually proves to have her talon-like finger on the pulse of what twenty-somethings want—that is, self-aware, camp-ridden bangers. Last year, Vol. 1 included a feature from Elvira. We never asked for it, but we couldn’t ask for more.

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F̵̤̓̄̽̆̑͆̀̈́̚͝l̶̛̘̖͖̮̦͈̩̈́̀͆̐̆͘͝͠ā̸̛̙̳ͅm̸̢̘̗̱̱͙̄͒̏̊̔ę̴̧̛̼͚̤̜̤̌̓̐̒̓̈̕̕͝ͅs̴̜̩̘̻̠̽͂ ̶͙̬̺̟̠̤͋͜o̵͙͚̱̗̿̍̅͆͒̋̕͠͝f̷̡͔̱͖̰͓̮̊̏̂͐̆ ̷̛̮̞͔̣̗͎͐̅̃̈́̿p̸̢̡̬͚͎͓̲̥̬̓̂̑͘͘͜ȧ̴̧̯̭̤̠̖̯̙͎̥s̷̖̼̫̗̙̟̘͙̤͊͌ṣ̷̡̦͓̒͑̈į̴̡̳͖̬̹͉̲͒͊̈͊͘͝o̴̱̘̓̊̂̅n̶̹͎̜̈̒̀̈́̔̊̈́͌̄͘,̶̞̲̈́̓̄͊͐̉̍̉̚̕͜ ̷̨͈̭̥̜͚̫͂̍̈́͐͒͐̍͂̃͝r̷̞͔̘̩̙̅͂͗̑̕ỏ̷̧͉̞̹̲͉͈̼̈́m̶̨̨̢̥̟͓͎͋̈́͒͊ạ̸̛̯͈̗̤̘̣̣̯̤͒͊̒n̶̝͎̹̖̍́c̷̘̗̳̝͇͛̔̌̏̔͋̒̉ȩ̴̢̰̙̘̖͈̱͒,̴̨̨̛̙͎͔̑̋͆͛͛͋͘͘͠ ̴̛͔̌͛̋̆͛ĝ̸̩͋͊́̎͒͘ͅr̵̖̝̤̰̪̱̃̉͋̉̎ͅo̵̜̖̝̎̅͂̈́̚̕w̸͕̟̜͉̦̳̣͕̿̌̾͌͛̚ͅ;̵̧̞̗̟̘̻̦͊ ̶̯̺͊͊Î̴͈͈̹͒́̄̇͌̑̑͝ͅ ̸̙̹̰͑͛̈́͠͝͝ó̴̦̗̩̬̖̇p̶̣̤͈̞̙̙͊̈̾̅̚ẽ̵̛̠͚̮̭̲̹̹̩̅͜ṅ̷̨̛͍̗͔̲̊́́͌̉̕͜͝ ̴͍̪͗͊̂͘͝m̵̞͔̘̹͖̘̺̙͋͋̂̇̉͜ý̵̙͎̓̓͘͝ ̸̡̨̹͔͇̯͍͎͐̄̅͑̓͑͋̇͝h̸͎̠͓̻͖̘̞̃̿́̆͛́͊͜͠ẹ̴̢̧͓͓̥̺̯͑̆̈́͒̃͛̇̐̄̉a̸̡̳̭͎̲̗͍̬̰̎̒̓̾̈́̽͒͋̌r̷͙̓̔͒͐͘͝t̶̨̲̼̼̼̹͚̖̍̽̓̾͘͠ ̸̼͍̖͖̟͉͑͗̀̊̈͂͂̕t̵̡̥͒ó̶̞̖̯̓̅͌̔͜͜ ̵͈͙̼̍̂̏̚͜l̶̦̪̥̯͙̿̒̉̈́̆̑́̚o̶̦̯͑v̷̘̠͊͛͑̄͌̀͘ë̴̘̟̙̩͓͇̜̟̥̻́͌́̅͛̽̅̓̉.̵̺̣͊́̃̒͑́͝ ̸̛̝͕͉̰͉̪̞̋̓̿͗̈́̐̽͗T̵̛̯̱͈̘͂̚h̵̠̠̹͓̆̓ͅe̷̼̹̹̮͙̘̩͈͕͐͜͝ ̵͔̗͍̯̝̰̇̾̚o̴̗̻̹͎͙͗p̵̨̲̳̫̮̰͎̯̉̈́̒͛̚̚ë̶̜̻͇͛͆͠n̴̡͉̳̥̙̹̘͈̎̌̐̈͗̈́̎̒ ̵̢̖̣̙̤͕͇̮͛̇̇̈͑̊̽̆̓̓p̷͓͒a̵̗̬̝̘̩̫̤͗̉̈͒̔̎̅̒̂͜͠t̴̪͈͕̖͙̤̤̼̊͆́̚͠h̷̗͇̅̒͊̄̊͘͠ ̷̨͇͕͖̦̞͍̦̱̉̑́̏͝w̶͙̺͔̯̝̯͔͖̫̒͂̋̈́̐̄͐̾͋͘i̸͈̼̞̰̙͉̤̖͎͇̐l̶̝͑͆l̵̪̘͈͚̻̼̀̌͊ ̶͔͒̅̽s̴̛̥̻͍̒̀̈̾̒̚ḩ̴̡͚̦͇̦̭̹͖̯͛́̿̊́͛̉̿̅͝o̴̺̠͊́̋ẇ̵͙̦͖̭͉̗͒̉̊.̸̢̡̹͎̭̥̼̖̘̝͂͑͑̀̂̒̇ ̴̻̏͋͑̄̽̐̊M̶͚̫̮͈̣̠͇̔̂a̴̻̩͕̩͕͈͛́͑̔ẏ̸͎͙̙̫͒̉̽̐͘ ̵̡̬͚̖͈̮̅͑̍̽̓͐͒͌̏́t̴̼͓̤̮͕͍͙̩̉͆̑̉ͅh̶̡̨͓̲̜̘͇̬̳̻̚i̵̛̠͚͖̟͓̣̥̼͛̈́͑̎̊͝ş̸̢̼͈̪̹͕͈͈̘́̂̃̉́̚͠͝ ̶̬̉͊̂ͅf̷̧̡̮̲̻̈́̒́̍̚l̸͉̩̯͓͆a̵͍̤̞͕͗̋̓̐͘m̶̧̢͈̻̺̮̼̥͚̤̊̌ȩ̴̹̰̘̯̭̮́̾̀͊͑̋̌͘͝ ̴̨̡͈̹̙͍̼͋̓̾͋̓͛͒̕̚ͅó̷̗̲̭͚͖͚̳́́f̸̟̹̃͜ ̸̡̜̫̗͇̭̳̯̆͑̉̃̈̎̉ṗ̸̬͠á̷͍͎̞͒̔̀̈́̔ş̴̻̦̯͚̦̥̹̔̊̈ş̶͈̬̜͔̜̙̈́̑͋͆i̶͉̦͘o̸͉̒̀̒͒͗̈́̕n̴̛̛͎̥̩̭͂̄̓̆͊̋͋͝ ̷̟͍͚̘͖͆̽b̵̨̢͍̥̺̗̘͎͗͂ͅͅų̶̡̪͈͔̝͇̮̿̈̽̀̈́͝r̸̡̛͇̣͈̟̼̻̩̆̅̿́͋̅͘̕͠ǹ̶̼͍̬͐͌̋̎͑̉͘͘ ̸̠̣̪̻̾̍ͅw̸̘͎̪̮͓͙͆i̷̛̲̮̼̬̘̯̠̬̺̣͑͑́̇͌̔̇̎ṱ̶̨͈̥̪͙̮͊̐̉͂̀͂̃͠ḧ̴̢̡̘͉̹͗̋͋̈́̿̍̕į̴͖̻͇̎͛n̸̗̗̮͆͑̑̄̀̌͋͗ ̸̨̯͖͍̐̀͝͠ỵ̵̆̊̇͌̿͊̀͝ò̴̡̱u̸̞͇͍̽r̶̛̠̯̘̺͑̏̈̋͘͘̚͝ ̴̢̧̩̺̤̲̅̎̎͒̌́̅̀̕ḫ̴̛̺̣̩̦̟̘̟͓͈̽̀̇̒̃͗͛̀͝é̵̢̛͍͉̤̹͖̤͖͂͗̍̌̕͜ą̸͓̭̤̪̙͉͍̋r̴̫͚̊̒͂̌̌͠ṫ̶̥͔̽̒,̷̠̰̾͒̇̿ ̸̢̮͉̗͕͙̝͚͎̱̿͑̽͋̚͝F̸͓̖̝̞̿͌̓̊̍̎͆̕r̸̗̰͆͐̂̓̔̈́̒õ̴̧̻̠̭̬̞̮͍̦̉̅̿͒̅͜͝m̷͍̱̳̞̠̭̟̩̝͐͆͑̓̈́ͅ ̴̨̢̛̦̮̫̞̬̞̙̰͑̾̀̈́̓̀͒̐͝m̶̧̜͉̘̝͎͍͝e̴̪̠͎̪̭̪͈̾̍̅͘͝,̶̰̤̮͖̞̯̂̈́̋͊̽̅ ̴̧͈̪̘̺̲̪͗y̶͕̤̪̎͆̃̕͝o̸̱͓̯͖͓͇͗̇̄̒̈́͛ǘ̶̈́ͅ ̶͔̳̒̇͑̆́̈̚͝w̵̬͖͇̭͔̹̺̌̈̂̐͊͝i̸̛̝̅̐̆͛̐́͘̚l̷̨͇̬͈̤̗͋̿̃̈́̓̒́̅͠l̷͓͙̺̠̲̗͂̐͗̀͗ ̷̘̮̺͇͒͐̅̀̄͆̔̂͠ń̷̡̳͇̲̝̬̱͊̌̐̒̐̓̄͝͠ǫ̶̧̞̖̪̜̞͈̬͊͒͐͂̂̀̊̂́ͅẗ̵̛̛͇̌͛̓̆͌ ̷͕͇͕̜̼͂̄̈́̓p̷̩͚̤͇̪̰̼̈́̏a̵͕̱̜̦͓̮̫͊͒̓͝r̸͓̳̜͍̫̪̀̂̆̿͒̈́̾̿̔͜t̴̨̠̲̰̲͈̙̐̓̏̂͌͜.̷͇͉̾͘͠

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Petras, being an independent artist, releases her music under her own label Bunhead, and takes lead songwriting credits on all her songs. This independence has allowed Petras to pursue somewhat risky career moves such as a full-length Halloween album, and devote time and attention to her niche-and-expanding fanbase. Currently, Kim Petras is one of those artists you may hear too much about or nothing at all—frankly, it depends on how gay your circle is. Similar cult figures such as Charli XCX and Carly Rae Jepsen have all shared their moments of ubiquitous radio play, but they've also been around for nearly a decade. TURN OFF THE LIGHT broke the top 10 on the U.S. music charts upon release, indicating that Petras may have cracked a shot at mainstream pop glory. May the millennial's love of "spooky season" carry her through. 

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