Literary Mixtape: Dracula


If you’ve ever wondered what your favorite literary characters might be listening to while they save the world/contemplate existence/get into trouble, or hallucinated a soundtrack to go along with your favorite novels, well, us too. But wonder no more! Here, we sneak a look at the hypothetical iPods of some of literature’s most interesting characters. What would be on the personal playlists of Holden Caulfield or Elizabeth Bennett, Huck Finn or Harry Potter, Tintin or Humbert Humbert? Something revealing, we bet. Or at least something danceable. Read on for a cozy reading soundtrack, character study, or yet another way to emulate your favorite literary hero. This week: Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula.

Today is Halloween, so who better to sonically profile than the most recognizable figure of terror himself? Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula is much more serious than the popular vampires of today. He certainly doesn’t sparkle, at least, that’s for sure. Inspired in part by the 15th century Romanian general and Wallachian Prince Vlad the Impaler, Stoker’s Dracula is a vampiric Transylvanian nobleman, who claims to be descended from Attila the Hun. Aristocratic but easily angered, he controls his victims not only by drinking their blood but by sharing his own blood with them, creating a spiritual bond. A dark sort of fellow to be sure, we think he’d be into gothic rock and dark wave, with a little morose indie rock thrown in for good measure. Here’s what we think Count Dracula would chastise his brides, stalk his castle, and suck your blood to.

Stream the mixtape on Spotify here.

“The Shadow of Love” — The Damned

Of course the Count would have an iPod full of the Damned, one of the forerunners of the gothic rock genre, fronted by a very stylish former gravedigger with a mournful wail.

“Melt” — Siouxsie & the Banshees

Though he’d be into a lot of their stuff, we think Dracula would give the most play to Siouxsie & the Banshees’ so-called “sexy album.” After all, how else is he going to nurse that secret crush on Siouxsie Sioux? The vampire brides are always so jealous.

“Death is Not the End” — Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

For whenever the Count needs a little cheering up.

“Bloodbuzz Ohio” — The National

If anyone knows the true meaning of a bloodbuzz, it’s our Count. Plus, we can’t help but think he’d enjoy the cinematic, sweeping tones of the National as he stalks the halls of his castle.

“Ziggy Stardust” — David Bowie

Unlike some other representations of vampires, Stoker’s Dracula takes pride in his appearance, exudes an aristocratic charm, and of course, has a certain flair for the dramatic, and we think that kind of monster would inevitably be a Bowie fan.

“A Forest” — The Cure

The atmospheric, dark Cure of the early ’80s is definitely the Count’s sweet spot.

“Poor Jackie” — Man Man

We think most of Man Man’s work is a little too chaotic for Dracula, but he’d definitely make an exception for this track. The ominous song details the nightly activities of a female Jack the Ripper — perfect for a creature who pities humans for their inability to succumb to their darkest impulses.

“Walk on Water” — Midnight Masses

Even Count Dracula needs a lullaby. We bet he has trouble going to sleep some nights, all upside-down and undead like that.

“Excitable Boy” — Warren Zevon

Like Dracula himself, this song seems harmless enough at first, even pleasant. But once you look a little closer, you’ll discover the evil truth beneath the calm exterior.

“Bela Lugosi’s Dead” — Bauhaus

We think the dark, gloomy Bauhaus would appeal to Dracula whether or not they wrote this ode to the man who famously embodied him. Come on, you know Dracula totally worships Peter Murphy. And vice versa.