An Overnight Low’s new song “The Exorcist” was inspired in part by the concept of haunted items. desk006/Shutterstock.com

Portland-based pop rock act An Overnight Low has just this minute released their latest single called “The Exorcist.” It’s moody but also snappy and smart like many of their other songs, which is why I continue to be a huge fan.

The song is not about the film “The Exorcist,” which I last saw at Bunker Brewing in Portland two years ago and which still scares the living daylights out of me. There’s no green vomit, spinning heads or priests throwing themselves out windows. In other words, the song “The Exorcist” doesn’t traumatize me or give me nightmares, but it’s still a welcomed addition to my Halloween playlist.

An Overnight Low is Chad Walls (lyrics, bass), Sam Anderson (melody composition, vocals, guitar), Chris Plumstead (guitar) and Paul Gauer (percussion). “The Exorcist” was recorded and mixed on Oct. 13 at Garage Mahal Recording in Westbrook by Rowan Bishop. Walls explained in an email that Gauer and Plumstead are recent additions to the lineup and that the band has a lot of new material. “But instead of hitting the studio and layering tracks like we normally do, we decided to record (mostly) live in a room together,” he wrote.

This is how it went with “The Exorcist” and you can hear it live when they play at 10 p.m. Friday at Blue.

In the film “The Exorcist,” young Regan is possessed by a demon. In the song, it is the haunting of objects that is explored. Walls told me that he was watching a ghost hunting show on YouTube that was specifically about haunted items inadvertently purchased at yard sales and antique shops that wreaked havoc in people’s homes. This made him curious. “I looked around my own living room, and I realized that most of what I own was either purchased this way or handed down to me from deceased relatives. I wondered how owning items that might contain residual energy might affect me, and I decided that it can’t be good.”

Walls went on to say that “The Exorcist” is meant to be a metaphor for letting go of things in your life that keep you from moving forward, especially if you’re haunted by people or memories from your past. “So some of the items you hear Sam singing about are around me now as I type this, some of them have been sent to Goodwill.” An actual exorcist does show up toward the end of song, whom Walls named Gabriel, a neighbor who helped him box the items up. That’s the only part of the song that was made up.

Here the refrain from “The Exorcist”:

Now and then they’ll catch the light
Acting black as night time
Sighing out a soliloquy
I lie awake when they whisper that way
And I know that they are here to stay

Head to An Overnight Low’s Bandcamp page (anovernightlow.bandcamp.com)to hear “The Exorcist.”

Now then, before I go back to contemplating what I’ll dress up as (if anything) this year for Halloween, here are a few other local songs that are entirely perfect for Halloween weekend. Also, apologies to my dog Odie. It’s not my fault a neighbor gifted you with a pink dinosaur costume that you look entirely adorable in.

  1. “Undead” by Dead. In the Gutter. They’re the duo of Dave Gutter and Ben Thompson (AKA Beenbeendead).
  2. “Candy Baby” by Jordan Stowell
  3. “Skeletons at the Feast” by Dominic Lavoie
  4. “Ghosts” by King Kyote
  5. “Haunt You” by Crystal Canyon

Stay spooky and happy Halloween!

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