God, do I love autumn. I can’t pin-point the exact reason but there’s something about crisp air and brightly colored dying leaves that just really tickles my fancy. Not to mention apple picking and pumpkin carving (and the subsequent apple and pumpkin pies), are two timely, yet still very honored traditions that are fun for the whole family.
Autumn truly has it all. Winter is too darn cold and snow is only fun for about ten minutes (unless it causes classes to be canceled…then I’m all for snow). Sure, spring is fun, but allergies are not. As far as summer goes, it’s great to have some time off from classes, but for some, working to save up for the up-coming school year, or intense summer classes it’s not much of a vacation (and humidity! blah). All of the negative factors of the other three seasons truly makes autumn the superior time of year. So, now that we’re full into the autumn swing (at least I am, are you?!) I thought I’d share a nice little list of my favorite ‘fall songs’ to get you into the spirit of a truly great season.
10. Brand New – “Fork and Knife”
Sometimes known as ‘Untitled 07,’ “Fork and Knife” is an unreleased song by Brand New. Simple vocals set against a morose piano line and accompanied by a steady drum, “Fork and Knife” is a great song to simply listen to while wandering. I don’t care where you’re wandering, whether it’s around campus, your dorm, or Philadelphia, “Fork and Knife” is a great song when set against the backdrop of autumn.
9. Saturday Looks Good to Me – “When the Party Ends”
This song is only four minutes and two seconds long, but it feels like it’s so much longer. Maybe it’s the fact that Fred Thomas isn’t the type to write song which follows the atypical verse, chorus, verse, refrain, chorus pattern. Instead, sounding almost out of breath as he fits more words than humanly possible into one breath, a song which starts out simply with guitar escalates into a full band, violins included. Listen with a mug of hot apple cider, and you’ll be set.
8. The Format – “Time Bomb”
Instrumentally, “Time Bomb” is quite simple. Repetitive piano line, steady drum beat, occasional guitar riff. Ya’ know. Inside, the lyrics are fantastic, and also have alliteration. A song written post-break up (as are most of the songs on Dog Problems, the album which “Time Bomb” is on) it’s upbeat, and fantastic to dance around to or listen to while kicking piles of leaves, perhaps.
7. The Spill Canvas – “The Season”
A rare little diddy, never released on any of their major CD releases, I stumbled upon this track accidentally last autumn. The title “The Season” refers to the whole subject of this post, autumn. How could it not be on this list? Not to mention within the verse your house smells like autumn/it smells like home to me/and I miss you like October/and the leaves are falling free, Nick Thomas manages to capture everything I love about this awesome season.
8. Lupe Fiasco ft. Matthew Santos – Fighters
Still humming ‘Superstar,’ the early summer realease by Lupe and Santos? Move onto “Fighters” which is the second to last song on Lupe’s latest release, The Cool. This mellow song is perfect to get you to buckle down, stop acting like a superstar, and get back into the swing of academia (if you haven’t figured out how to make that adjustment yet).
7. Ludo – “Topeka”
I don’t know how any individual could say no to this song after Andrew Volpe lets out the words: I found God/in a Cadallidic converter/in Topeka/on a Monday night. The honesty held within these lines, is just as beautiful as the red and orange leaves which will are currently gracing the ground. A little more ‘electronic’ than other picks on this list, it’s still got substance, and it rocks.
6. The Silversun Pickups – “Lazy Eye”
The Silversun Pickups are a rare gem, and their song “Lazy Eye” is even more beautiful. They totally trick you by keeping “Lazy Eye” simple, with soft vocals and a steady guitar patter, until it builds up into a somewhat distorted, chaotic and catastrophic ending after nine minutes and fifteen seconds. Perfect.
5. Dar Williams – “Another Mystery”
I determined quite some time ago that Dar Williams in general is just great for autumn. Her voice is just so soothing, and this song is mellow with a steady walking beat (I should know, it’s one of my favorite ‘walking songs’), and even has some banjo in it. You can’t say no to a banjo in autumn, I’ve come to find. See: song pick number 3. I also dare you to not rock your head back and forth and tap your foot to this song. It’s impossible.
4. Orenda Fink – “Dirty South”
This song rocks. Orenda Fink is all over musical genres with her album Invisible Ones but this track stands out the most. A hard, electronic guitar pattern with Fink’s airy voice over it creates a whimsical song rooted in rock. Not bad at all.
3. Bright Eyes – “Four Winds”
Talk all the crap you want about Conor Oberst. I was not much of a Bright Eyes’ fan until Cassadaga came out, it was then that I truly started to appreciate Conor Oberst, and his music. “Four Winds” is upbeat right from the get-go with a country style fiddle, banjo, simple drum beat and guitar intro. When Oberst comes the song just gets better. I love everything about this song, especially the violin. As a violinist from ages of nine to seventeen, I can appreciate this tune, which truly makes the track stand out, giving it a lot of kick. And like I said in song pick number 5, banjo’s just make autumn even better.
2. Matt Pond PA – “Halloween”
This mellow song, based around a Halloween party, I can only imagine, is so sweet. Littered with excellent lines such as : If you don’t know or care you’ll be alright/I heard it’s modern to be stupid/You don’t need a thought to look good, sung by Matt Pond’s soft voice, I’d believe anything that comes out of this man’s mouth. Set to a background with a morose cello, this song is very calming.
1. Sunny Day Real Estate – “The Rising Tide”
Okay yes, rising tides remind me of the beach, and the beach reminds me of the summer, but the echoey, eerie effects used in this song just scream falling leaves. I will admit that I am not the biggest SDRE fan out there, but this song always wins me over. A constant guitar presence, and whimsical vocals make autumn come alive. The slightly dissonant break-down also breaks the song up, drawing you back in for the last verse and chorus.
To truly enjoy these songs, put these ’em onto a mix CD, pop it into your car’s CD player and go for a drive on a bright sunny day. I guarantee a good time – if not, there is a money back guarantee.
–Kathryn “Kaitty” Bergin