Thursday, September 25, 2008
Requisites: Autumn Music
As the days grow darker, so do the albums that I listen to most during these months. I generally put away the sunnier, upbeat stuff and pull out downtempo, more acoustic-based music. The following are some of the albums that I listen to most between September and November.
Elvis Costello: North Early in this blog's existence I proclaimed this to be my favorite autumn album. And it still is. It has everything I need this time of year: fall imagery ("I trampled through the amber and the burnished gold"), interesting arrangements, lush instrumentation. Beautiful.
The Postal Service: Give Up Jimmy Tamborello's cold and glitchy electronic music serves as an excellent contrast to Ben Gibbard's warm lyrics and vocals. Although I hadn't heard the song until long after I left the area, "The District Sleeps Tonight" always make me think of DC in the fall.
The National: Boxer Yes, for those keeping score, this album also made my summertime Requisites list, but it is one of those rare albums that can straddle two seasons. It must be the smokey atmosphere that the band creates.
John Wesley Harding: Swings and Roundabouts You want dark and autumnal? Look no further than "The Fall of the House of Harding." Don't worry. The rest of the album isn't nearly as gloomy.
Various artists: Garden State It really shouldn't be all that surprising that the soundtrack to my favorite fall film is included on this list. Just thinking about one of the movie's most prominent songs - the Shins' "New Slang" - makes me think that there's a chill in the air. You're right, Natalie Portman. It did change my life.
The Velvet Underground: The Velvet Underground While not my favorite VU album (that'd be Velvet Underground and Nico), this uncharacteristically quiet and contemplative work from the band is perfect for secluding yourself from the outside world. It contains one of my favorite songs ever ("Pale Blue Eyes"), as well as the Moe Tucker-fronted "That's the Story of My Life," which just makes you want to give her a hug.
Snow Patrol: Final Straw Because every season requires a quality hook-filled alt rock album.
Simon & Garfunkel: Greatest Hits Before I amassed my own music library, I would depend on my parents' record collection for music. Along with a couple of Bill Cosby albums and Johnny Mathis's Greatest Hits, this was a childhood favorite. Simon and Garfunkel definitely make music for sweater weather.
So, what do you listen to when the leaves start to fall?