John Carpenter: Skeleton and Unclean Spirit released on Sacred Bones

John Carpenter (Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)
John Carpenter (Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images) /

John Carpenter has released two tracks on Sacred Bones ahead of his pending Lost Themes III album. Fans can pre-order vinyl on Aug. 28.

John Carpenter is more than a director, producer and writer. He is also a composer. However, most of his fans are well aware of that fact.

The theme to the original Halloween is iconic and the inspiration for many synthwave artists currently on YouTube. While Carpenter admits that film will always be his first love, he discloses that music brings him great joy.

His scores never fail to add to the overall anxiety and sense of foreboding of his works. Listen closely and you might hear a touch of Bernard Hermann (Psycho) in his compositions. That relentless, stalking beat that makes you feel as if death is chasing you.

Some of Carpenter’s musical influences range from classical (Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky) to Ennio Morricone’s epic scores, particularly, Once Upon a Time in the West. Everyone who follows the Horror Master knows that originally, he wanted to direct westerns so this revelation isn’t surprising.

Tangerine Dream is one of his favorite bands. For those that like electronica, they are in the pantheon right up there with Kraftwerk. If you are familiar with their sound, it could be considered “chill” or “ambient.” Their songs definitely set the mood.

In a recent Stereogum article, the director admitted that with his latest efforts, Skeleton and Unclean Spirit (which will be featured on the forthcoming Lost Themes III album), it was “refreshing to be able to write music that didn’t have to fit to any sort of locked image.”

However, when you are listening to John Carpenter, you can’t help but conjure up certain scenarios in your head. Unclean Spirit in particular, is very funereal with the Bach sounding organ.


Unclean Spirit:


Skeleton and Unclean Spirit were collaborative efforts between Carpenter, his son, Cody and his godson, Daniel Davies. Both have been released digitally on Sacred Bones. Look for the vinyl to on Aug. 28. You can pre-order the tunes at this link.

Do you collect John Carpenter scores? Let us know what you think of him as a composer in the comments.