Music at Home: The Witching Hour - Rolling Stone
Home Music Music News

Music at Home: The Witching Hour

Majestic assertions of power and presence from Stevie Nicks, Taylor Swift, FKA Twigs, and more

This week’s full moon in Pisces may have left you feeling a bit tender. But that’s all right: these songs are meant to revitalize, empower, and mobilize as you let go of the parts of your life that no longer serve you — or reaffirm those that do.

From Stevie Nicks and Kate Bush to Miley Cyrus and FKA Twigs, the femme artists on this week’s Music at Home playlist have made careers out of majestic assertions of their own power, and each song has a certain witch-y, magical quality to them that can serve as incantations. So light a candle, set your intentions, and let it burn to the end of the wick while you’re sheltering in place tonight.

Find this playlist on Spotify here.

Miley Cyrus, “Midnight Sky”

Cyrus’ latest single is an empowering Eighties synth bop that sees her reclaiming her physical and emotional self at the end of her marriage. She rides through the night, lighting a path with her own re-ignited spark.

Delerium feat. Sarah McLachlan, “Silence”

One of the finest singer-songwriters of all time turned out to be a perfect match for electronic act Delerium: together they made the classic trance track “Silence,” a club and radio staple of the late Nineties. McLachlan’s mezzo-soprano is an intoxicating presence next to the sampled Gregorian chants.

Stevie Nicks, “Rooms on Fire”

There’s magic all around Stevie Nicks, and she would say so herself. Her 1989 hit was born out of the dark bond she shared with producer Rupert Hine, who lived with her in a castle during the process of making The Other Side of the Mirror. “Rooms on Fire” is a dazzling reflection on their tempestuous time together.

Tinashe, “Soul Glitch”

Tinashe’s second album, Nightride, is a woefully underrated album as it stands, and “Soul Glitch” remains one of the star’s best deep cuts. On the dizzyingly fuzzy track, she’s an ice queen well aware of how her worth has not been matched by a negligent partner.

Taylor Swift, “My Tears Ricochet”

Folklore is undoubtedly Swift’s most bewitching album yet (a title previously held by the enchanting Speak Now), brimming with tearful, moody stories. “My Tears Ricochet” is one of the most stirring and dramatic of them all: She is a ghost watching down on her own funeral, dreading the sight of a tormentor.

Jessie Ware, “Adore You”

Ware’s disco detour on her latest album, What’s Your Pleasure?, is overflowing with dance floor love spells, but none are more rousing than this intimate and dreamy synth romance.

Brandy, “Full Moon”

Four years after her breakthrough album, Never Say Never, Brandy and Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins looked to the sound of European nightclubs for her third album. On the title track, she credits the gravitational pull of the full moon when she finds herself experiencing love at first sight in the club.

Rina Sawayama, “STFU!”

Empowerment comes in all forms, and sometimes there is nothing more empowering than telling someone to shut the fuck up. Sawayama’s nu-metal-pop single is as invigorating as it is cathartic, especially when you sing and thrash your body along.

PJ Harvey, “To Bring You My Love”

Harvey’s first proper solo album is a blues-y, rich, and gothic listen, making for one of the most gripping releases of the Nineties. On “To Bring You My Love,” Harvey is her own sacrificial lamb, all for the sake of her own burning desire.

Tei Shi, “Bassically”

Tei Shi builds from a whisper to a growl on this sensual, almost taunting track. She wonders if the one who has made her the object of his affection wants her to be someone more easily mutable, all while making clear that she is not one to beg or fit the mold.

Kate Bush, “Cloudbusting”

The dream-like quality of “Cloudbusting” has immense purpose: Bush was inspired by the memoir A Book of Dreams, a moving retelling of Austrian psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich’s relationship with his son Peter, as told through Peter’s memories of his childhood. Bush does the story justice with this captivating, ambitious, and ethereal single.

FKA Twigs, “Home With You”

One of the most epic incantations on an album full of epic incantations, “Home With You” stirs with piano and cello. As she calls upon selfless heroes like Mary Magdalene in an effort to pull herself out of her darkness, her effort and emotional tension feel like a tangible rope you’re hanging onto with her.

Betty Davis, “The Lone Ranger”

The queen of funk is a night-walking, fast-talking mystic on this Nasty Gal track. Subdued and slower than most of Davis’ very raunchy catalog, this closer still perfectly reflects the hypnotically in-your-face quality of her sound as she assesses her potential suitor.


Powered by
Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.