The time has come; leaves are falling, every coffee shop is serving pumpkin lattes and everybody is digging out their wool sweaters. I love autumn more than anything, partially because I am an October baby and so is my fiance but the ambiance of an American fall is universal. There is a certain nostalgic mood that autumn carries. And what better way to embrace the brisk joy of fall than with quality “fall music”. It is the perfect time of year of that old timey, high and lonesome sound.
Mumford & Sons | Babel (2012)
It’s a new fall classic. While it may not be the best album ever, the banjo and contemplative vocals definitely fit the briskness and falling leaves.
Fleet Foxes | Fleet Foxes (2008)
These guys are one of my favorite bands during the fall… and I almost never ever listen to them during any of the other three seasons. Too depressing for winter, too nostalgic for spring and to folksy for summer. And yes, I do tailor my music to the seasons. But anyways, these guys hit the ambiance of the fall. With the perfect amount of twang, chilling vocals and tailored Appalachia in their bones. This album is a must during the harvest (yes, i just referred to fall as ‘the harvest’…)
Bob Dylan | John Wesley Harding (1967)
His first album after his famous motorcycle wreck and stowaway with The Band in upstate New York, this album just reeks of rural, old time sounds. It is somewhat hopeful, but with a seat-belt. This is the album before his great Country venture “Nashville Skyline”, where he really twanged it up. This album has an air of wisdom about it and it may be my favorite Dylan album, especially this time of year.
Kasey Chambers | Rattlin’ Bones (2008)
If you don’t know about Kasey Chambers, pay attention! She is an Australian singer-songwriter with an out-of-this-world voice and a brilliant pen. Her husband, Shane Nichols (who plays guitar and background vocals on all of her work) adds a real folky, Americana touch to everything she puts out. her 2008 album ‘Rattlin’ Bones’ is by far her best work. It is stark, kind of dark and beautifully written. The sound is perfect for a dreary fall day.
Various Artists | Search For the Wrong-Eyed Jesus: Official Soundtrack (2005)
This one is a bit of an oddity, as in, I have never met anybody else who has it. But this is one of the best albums I own. ‘Searching for the Wrong Eyed Jesus is a documentary-esque thing masterminded by the great singer-songwriter Jim White. The film is a musical and narrative journey across the landscape of the American South and the soundtrack is a hauntingly beautiful compilation from that landscape. Featuring the talents of Jim White, Cat Power, Johnny Dowd, David Eugene Edwards and David Johansen, this album is on constant rotation during this cold, yet beautiful time of year.
Check out a few songs from this album. And it is available on iTunes, so if you like what you hear, check it out and support Jim White and his gang of southern storytellers.