Halloween comes early with Kim Petras’ ‘TURN OFF THE LIGHT’.

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BunHead Records

The cover of Kim Petras’ second studio album, ‘TURN OFF THE LIGHT’.

Mason Montano, Music Editor

In October 2018, German singer-songwriter and spooky legend Kim Petras posted a series of grotesquely edited photos of herself on Instagram before catching the underground pop community completely off-guard when she surprise-dropped her iconic Halloween-themed EP, TURN OFF THE LIGHT, VOL. 1

The EP featured dark lyrical content and ominous electronic production that starkly contrasted the bubbly synth pop tracks that we’d grown accustomed to hearing from the pop starlet, and her fans ate it up, making the song “Close Your Eyes” the gay Halloween anthem for 2018. 

When a new set of monstrous images began to appear on Petras’ Instagram in late September, we knew exactly what it meant — VOL. 2 was coming — but she had another trick up her sleeve. One day before October 1st, the scheduled release date, she announced that she would be giving “the whole damn story” and revealed that VOL. 2 would actually be her second studio album, simply titled TURN OFF THE LIGHT, which would include the eight original tracks from VOL. 1 alongside nine brand new songs. Ugh! Her mind!

Sporting more twisted lyrics and absolutely sick electronic beats, TURN OFF THE LIGHT expands on the loose narrative established by VOL. 1, and the album’s structure places an instrumental interlude in between every main song, with each track fading into the next, giving it the feel of a vague concept record while showcasing the high-quality production. “Bloody Valentine”, “<demons>”, and “i don’t wanna die…” are among the more impressive interlude tracks.

As for the songs with lyrics, Petras arguably delivers the best vocals that she’s ever given on tracks like “There Will Be Blood”, “Massacre”, and “Tell Me It’s A Nightmare”; with powerful, haunting vocal performances intended to invoke feelings of unease within the listener.

“Massacre” is particularly interesting because it samples the classic Christmas song “Carol of the Bells”, playing on the opposing forces between Christmas and Halloween and creating a similar vibe to the work of American director and writer Tim Burton, specifically his dark fantasy films from the early 1990s, such as Edward Scissorhands and The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Other notable tracks include “Wrong Turn”, “Turn Off The Light”, and “In The Next Life”. 

The title track is especially worth noting because it’s a collaboration with American television hostess and horror icon Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, who delivers a chilling spoken-word verse on the song’s bridge that is reminiscent of American actor Vincent Price’s performance on American singer-songwriter and dancer Michael Jackson’s 1983 hit “Thriller” and serves us the evil queen realness that we’ve been needing to bring us back to life.

Petras also incorporates her sense of humor into the album, as one of the interludes is called “TRANSylvania”, a comedic reference to the fact that she’s transgender, and another is just called “Boo! B***h!”.

“Death By Sex” is by far the campiest track on the record, and Petras describes the way that she makes love as “deadly”, assuring the listener that they’re “gonna love the way [they] die”. I’ll let you fill in all the gory details.

TURN OFF THE LIGHT concludes with “Everybody Dies” — an eerie, anthemic ballad with a cheery tone that juxtaposes the morbid lyrics, gleefully discussing how death is inevitable, which makes it the most sinister-sounding track on the entire album.

There’s no doubt that Kim Petras has successfully reinvented Halloween for the second time, molding the holiday into that of her own image, and while it’s unknown if there will be a VOL. 3 released next year, TURN OFF THE LIGHT is available now across all online and streaming platforms.

Stream TURN OFF THE LIGHT on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/1DHYrQEevTTen4mqPgaxfH?si=uJy4z28MSBap0NnzSdh2qQ 

BunHead Records
Petras as she appears in the press release photos for ‘TURN OFF THE LIGHT’.