Like your wardrobe, lip colour and nail polish shade, music is susceptible to seasonal shifts, signaling a natural desire to shake things up.
Where once cheerful summer singalongs were necessary listening, the fall weather is more likely to mean slightly introspective experiences, at least for me. (Best Coast’s California Nights, which came out in May, was the perfect soundtrack to warm evenings but feels incongruous to scarf-and-long-sleeves weather.)
Now that we’re firmly in post-Thanskgiving territory, I thought I’d share what albums are in rotation and promise the perfect aural compliment to a season where it gets dark at 6pm and the mornings only rarely include slivers of sunshine streaming through the blinds.
Plug in and listen up: these are the soundtracks of the season.
Kurt Vile – b’lieve I’m goin down. . .
This indie-folk rock gem came out September 25 and for his sixth studio album, Kurt Vile continues to offer catchy stoner rock that’s more than meets the eye.
Must-listen: “Pretty pimpin”
Lana Del Rey – Honeymoon
It may seem counter-intuitive to put the perpetual California girl in this grouping but her dreamy pop has enough of a melancholic edge that it translates even when the weather all but forbids getting high by the beach.
Ryan Adams – 1989
As maybe the only person on the planet under 40 who hadn’t listened to Taylor Swift’s original—nothing against T.Swift but her brand of pop, while unavoidable, doesn’t excite me—I don’t have any basis for comparison. Having said that, Ryan Adams’ delightfully weird energy is all over this album making it one with surprising poignancy.
Beach House – Depression Cherry
This duo has been making softly sad chamber pop for nearly a decade and this album delivers the goods as Victoria Legrand’s soothing baritone vocals and guitarist Alex Scally’s fuzzy licks warm up even chilly mornings. Bonus: the band has just released a second 2015 album, the also-excellent Thank Your Lucky Stars.
Beirut – No No No
Zach Condon, the multi-instrumentalist at the centre of Beirut, is only 29 but makes music that communicates a septuagenarian’s worth of lived experiences. A recent divorce and subsequent new romance play into the album’s themes of loves lost and won and makes for a triumphant return after a four-year break from new music.