Autumn Albums Accompany the Season
1. The Wild Hunt
The Tallest Man On Earth
The rushing jangling of guitar strings heard in the opening of “King of Spain” on Wild Hunt and the unbridled energy of singer Kristian Matsson’s voice at play in the song establish The Wild Hunt as a surefire choice for anyone’s autumn album list.
Originally from Sweden (although he sings in English), Matsson’s troubadour style may cause you to compare him to the works of Bob Dylan, and you wouldn’t be too far off making that comparison. Hell, he even pays homage to Dylan’s “Boots of Spanish Leather” in “King of Spain”.
Matsson is one of those artists that can channel his passions into his voice and really connect you to what he’s trying to convey. In other words, you can really feel what the music means. “Love Is All” is a perfect example. He literally exposes his fears of how he can’t fall in love again as he belts, “I said I could rise from the harness of our goals, but here comes the tears. But like always I let them go. Just let them go.”
The Wild Hunt is some serious reflective stuff. Grab a beer/whiskey drink and a cigar for this one (if you do that sort of thing). If I could, I would hire Matsson to play this album live for me as I hike through the autumn-ridden ozarks in some cheesy woodsy soul searching hike for the ultimate nature/folksy feel.
Please, this album and artist comes at high recommendation. For those that only want a few songs, pick up “King of Spain”, “You’re Going Back”, “Love Is All” and “A Lion’s Heart”.
2. Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
M83’s double album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming is a lot of things, but if I was to simplify it into three words, they would be: spacey, serene and captivating. If you’ve never listened to the album before, try to not have any expectations for it.
After listening to “Intro”, you will get an accurate feel of what this album is all about. The music hits peaks of excitement and enthrallment that suck you into the album’s world, and it balances that sound with musical scenes of serenity all throughout the album.
That’s just how this album moves — like flowing through scenes in a play or movie. It’s an ambitious work by Anthony Gonzalez, the brains/songwriter behind the group. That can also be where you find fault with the album; it can be overbearing. Really though, it’s pretty cool.
The overall tone of it is dynamic, and that perfectly parallels the dynamic air of the fall season. It’s somber — and yet cheery and energetic. It’s a blast to listen through and should be added to your music library — even if electronic music isn’t really your cup of tea.
If you’re an album skimmer, listen for “Intro”, “Raconte-Moi Une Histoire”, “Year One, One UFO”, “My Tears Are Becoming a Sea”, “Midnight City” and “Wait”.
3. Mirage Rock
Band of Horses
If spring is synonymous with youth, than fall would lend to maturity. That’s just what Mirage Rock by Band of Horses sounds like — a mature, indie-rock album.
In their newest album, released this past September, the band sounds like they adapted some of the adult-contemporary sounds of Wilco. Not to say this album sounds old or caters to an aged audience, it just has a sense of refinement to it.
Mirage Rock is so solid. It starts strong with the driven“Knock Knock”, and continues all the way to the end, with a few slow bits of course. It really isn’t all that loud (as in stiff upper-lip rock n‘ roll), but it isn’t soft either. What makes it so worthwhile is its ability to mediate those two styles into their own sound.
Check out “Knock Knock”, “A Little Biblical”, “Feud”, and “Everything’s Gonna Be Undone” for a quick survey of the best songs on the album.
4. Oh Fortune
Autumn can be a strange time, and it can also be an awesome time of the year. The season is quick, and when it’s in full swing, it can be both melancholy and spirited. That’s probably why so many people like it. To those people, Oh Fortune by Dan Mangan gets a definite recommendation for a fall music companion.
If you find yourself a fan of Regina Spektor or maybe Airborne Toxic Event, this guy might be a good choice to look into. It could be a stretch, but to me, he sounds like a male version of the Russian songstress. He’s a little heavier and sometimes more dreary, but he shares the same kind of quirky songwriting that Spektor is known for.
The album’s orchestral opener “About As Helpful As You Can Be Without Being Any Help At All” sets up the album perfectly. The music captures the entire mood of the album. His lyrics such as, “I was thrown in a boat, cast out to sea, friendly with waves, there were sharks below hungry for me, so I dangled my legs” can really charm you into liking the music.
The above song, “Post-War Blues”, “Starts With Them, Ends With Us”, “Oh Fortune” and “Rows of Houses” are highlights of a well-made album. The album is a bit more than a rock album, but it largely sounds like one. Just one that’s hit a rough patch in life and is trying to work it out.