Man, The Rosebuds really love holidays: Last year, the Raleigh-nurtured duo of Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp released an entire full-length of Christmas songs, a move that felt a little uncharacteristic. After all, The Rosebuds don’t revel in chipper melodies like their yuletide-favorite label mates She & Him; their records are more often dominated by foreboding atmosphere and dark imagery. To wit, see the entirety of 2007’s Night of the Furies. “Whisper” and “Where the Freaks Hang Out,” the two horror-themed singles they released this Halloween week, stick closer to their strengths, making appropriate fun of their oft-gloomy vibe.
“Whisper”—which comes with a cinematic video about a monster hunter out for zombies, with a reanimated Howard among their ranks—moves like a Furies B-side. Its threatening throb is graced by spectral synth and guitar, as Howard relates a surprisingly thoughtful ghost story. “Where the Freaks Hang Out”—inspired by the 1967 Rankin/Bass special Mad Monstery Party?— is far more campy, but no less fun. The video features karaoke lyrics and a band of marionette miscreants. In the song, Howard is led to a very real haunted house, filled with werewolves, ghosts and assorted ghouls. Future Islands frontman Sam Herring interrupts with his gravelly incantation, channeling Vincent Price a la “Thriller” with hilarious accuracy. Check out both videos below, and, for a special holiday treat, download the extended version of “Where the Freaks Hang Out,” featuring an intro from Herring.