The idea of outspoken, unusual women as “witches” is a concept that can be traced back long before Salem, but I like to associate 21st century witchcraft with more of an unashamed expression of a woman’s identity, rather than black cats and evil spells. This week, I thought I’d play Devil’s Advocate (literally) and introduce you to a few songs by women unafraid to stir the cauldron. As you recover from your Halloweekend festivities and get your costumes ready to Trick or Treat on Embassy Row, enjoy listening to these badass women embrace their dark sides.
1. “Rhiannon” by Fleetwood Mac
This song is literally about a Welsh witch, so excluding it from anything witch-related would be inappropriate. It’s also sung by Stevie Nicks, who gained a reputation as a “White Witch” in the 70s for her long black shawls and mysterious antics.
2. “Disturbia” by Rihanna
Technically, this song is more of a club hit than an ode to witchcraft, but Rihanna has absolutely cast a spell on all of us with her latest lines of Fenty makeup, Fenty lingerie, and her general existence. Also, because she’s singing about letting go and embracing the inner wild child inside of all of us, I’m willing to bet that the men of colonial Salem would’ve been okay with putting her on trial.
3. “Seven Devils” by Florence + the Machine
I never really know what’s up with Florence Welch, and yet I would still trust her with my firstborn child. “Seven Devils” achieves the perfect spooky, mysterious sound, and features some deliciously rageful lyrics that will make you want to grab a broomstick and fly away from your enemies.
4. “Rejoyce” by Jefferson Airplane
To be honest, I’m not 100% sure what any of the lyrics to this song mean, but I’m absolutely positive that it slaps. Grace Slick’s haunting vocals are amazing, and she remains an impressive icon of the 1970s psychedelic movement.
5. “Roses Blue” by Joni Mitchell
On this beautiful acoustic track, Mitchell sings about a girl falling into the evils of black magic. Though she isn’t endorsing witchcraft here, I think her reputation as a folk artist and environmental activist has earned her a spot on this list.
6. “Which Witch” by Florence + the Machine
This song was originally intended for the band’s second album, Ceremonial, but never made it on. Included in demo form on their third album, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (2015), this song is one of the best on the record. I think the fact that it hasn’t been released as a fully finished track is an act of God, because this song would simply be too powerful with complete studio music and backing.
7. “Money Power Glory” by Lana Del Rey
This is another track that doesn’t explicitly reference witchcraft, but I think that the general sentiment of wanting funds, influence, and fame more than male attention fits the vibe of this playlist. Also, I think Lana’s witch powers would absolutely beat Azealia Banks in their well publicized Twitter spat.
8. “Edge of Seventeen” by Stevie Nicks
Like many good things in this world, this playlist started with Stevie Nicks, and so it should end with her as well. This is one of her most iconic solo songs, and her “ooo baby”s at the end of the chorus are guaranteed to get you singing every single time.