Last week I posted a list of my five favorite albums for autumn. But since everybody loves a good mix-tape (mix-playlist, I suppose, would be more appropriate) I have also compiled my 15 favorite songs for the fall 09 season, listed in no particular order. Once you’ve hit up itunes or emusic and purchased these songs, be sure to head over to my friend Brett McCracken’s blog and wade your way through his fantastic list too.
15 songs for fall 2009:
“Post War” by M. Ward: Soft and sweet and tender, like leaves falling in an autumnal breeze. The voice most evocative of fall, in my opinion.
“In the Devil’s Territory” by Sufjan Stevens: At first glance it’s softness seems delicate, but Stevens work on Seven Swans packs a meaningful punch. The work of the Holy Spirit can be a real pain sometimes, just as the changing seasons often are. But ultimately, the result of that work is beautiful. Here he sings “I saw the dragons drying, I saw the witches whine, we stayed a long, long time, but I’m not afraid to die. To see you, to meet you, to see you at last.”
“I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine” by Bob Dylan: One of Dylan’s underrated gems and a great example of how to use the harmonica well. Rich with imagery and motion and thus perfect for fall.
“Firefly” by Over the Rhine: Dramatic, poignant, beautiful, and hopeful song about memory, perfect for the season’s end when the frosts start moving in.
“The Only Moment We Were Alone” by Explosions in the Sky: Like Brett, I associate Explosions in the Sky with Friday Night Lights (my favorite TV show). This lengthy instrumental is wonderfully evocative of the ever-changing beauties – and inherent melancholies – of autumn.
“Death of a Maiden by Joe Purdy: A historically set ballad about a civil war solider who leaves the girl he leaves so his brothers and friends won’t have to fight alone. Deeply rooted in place and time and relationships, just as autumn often reminds each of us that we are inextricably linked to the time and place in which we have been set.
“The Ballad of the Broken Bones” by The Low Anthem: The lead-off track on this great band’s fantastic first album, What the Crow Brings, is folksy and bluesy and minimalist and absolutely gorgeous.
“In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” by Neutral Milk Hotel: The song that birthed a movement. Maybe. Either way it’s a great song for driving in the country as the leaves dance across the pavement and in the fields and as orange skies and brown grass whisper softly to one another by way of the breeze.
“Where the Wild Things Are” by Patrick Watson: Adventurous, creative track from Watson’s haunting new album, Wooden Arms, is appropriately named.
“Long Way Home” by Tom Waits: A favorite song by a favorite artist, “Long Way Home” is beautiful poetry, beautiful imagery, and beautifully performed.
“Curse Your Branches” by David Bazan: A song all about falling leaves probably demands to make a list such as this. Ever wondered if maybe a leaf or two would prefer not to hit the ground? Well, Bazan does here. One of the year’s best, most thought-provoking albums.
“Comets” by Fanfarlo: Maybe the year’s most underrated band and best unheralded album. “Comets”, off Reservoir, is a wonderfully conceived, wonderfully structured indie pop song, much like the next song…
“Wake Up” by The Arcade Fire: The song featured on the trailer for the new Where the Wild Things Are film, is one of the best songs of the decade and is potentially perfect in any season.
“Glory” by Radical Face: A new discovery for me, Radical Face’s (mainly fronted by Ben Cooper) Ghost is an album worth scooping up now. It’ll be on repeat all season.
“Monster Ballads” by Josh Ritter: Few artists do beautiful melancholy like Josh Ritter. From his best album, The Animal Years, “Monster Ballads” is a gorgeous road themed song and one of his lovely songs to date.
Happy Leaf-raking everyone!