Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Thursday, January 18, 2018

‘Autumn Audio’ as the leaves turn

The Eagle’s guide to songs to get you in the mood for fall

‘Autumn Audio’ as the leaves turn

Etta James, 2000 Music in the Park San Jose California, originally posted to Flickr. 

Fall is supposed to be the season of piping hot pumpkin spice lattes and warm knit sweaters, but 80 degree days make it hard to believe fall is here. If the fluctuating temperatures are making it difficult for you to get into the fall spirit, check out these albums to transition you from the hectic, electronic beats of summer to the coolness of autumn tunes.

“Cardinal” by Pinegrove- Teen rock with a twang

“Cardinal,” Pinegrove’s second full-length album, straddles the line between indie rock and folk rock nicely and finds its comfort zone in frontman Evans Stephen Hall’s lyrics. Though the band definitely leans toward rock, Hall’s voice provides that slight, folksy twang that gives their music a warm, honest quality. “Cardinal” is clear and level-headed, something everyone is trying to embody at this point in the fall semester.

“American Teen” by Khalid- Come for the beat, stay for the melancholy

Though “American Teen” is probably the most pop-influenced album on this list, that is no reason to discount it as a fall jam. Khalid uses “American Teen” to explore the ins and outs of relationships and youth through songs that fit in equally well at parties and study sessions. “Location,” the album’s most popular song, is a prime example of Khalid’s ability to pair simple, layered beats with resonant lyrics. A melancholy mood is consistent throughout the album, which makes it the perfect fall speed.

“Little Neon Limelight” by Houndmouth- Americana at its most fun

Similar to Pinegrove’s music, the power of Houndmouth’s folk rock sound comes from the band’s vocals. All the band members can be heard singing on most of the tracks which gives their music a free-spirited feel. Houndmouth leans into that sound much more confidently. The songs on “Little Neon Limelight,” the band’s second album, create a folksy vibe through songs about western towns (“Sedona”) and oil barons (“Black Gold”). The mix between the soulful and upbeat is the perfect thing to get you dancing while studying for midterms.

“White Blood Cells” by the White Stripes- Rock for connoisseurs and casuals

The White Stripes, though they are the most rock group on this list, still have that cool tone that makes the band ideal for the autumn season. One of the songs on the album is even titled “Dead Leaves on the Dirty Ground.” The duo’s third album, “White Blood Cells” has an uncomplicated sound that rocks without being overwhelming. Listeners can appreciate Jack White’s unique vocals and the band’s varied, yet classic, sound without it dominating their surroundings.

“Rumors” by Fleetwood Mac- Classic rock that still feels new

In 1977, Fleetwood Mac dropped “Rumors,” which would go on to be one of the band’s most popular and critically acclaimed albums. With songs like “Dreams” and “Go Your Own Way,” Fleetwood Mac created a sound that was both rock and pop. The album can be hopeful at times and wistful at others, but it’s a consistently calming and interesting sound ideal for settling into fall weather.

“Our Endless Numbered Days” by Iron & Wine- Soothing Acoustic

For his first professionally produced album, Iron & Wine, a one man indie folk band, created the audio equivalent of a sunny October day. In “Our Endless Numbered Days,” Sam Beam (a.k.a Iron & Wine) uses his soothing acoustic sound and whisper-like singing voice to lull the listener into a peaceful state. This album is perfect either as background music for studying or as a laid-back jam to relax to.

“The Concert in Central Park” by Simon and Garfunkel- Live Folk on a September Day

The moderate weather and natural beauty makes fall such a beloved season. Folk music is a lot like fall in that regard─its moderate sound and beautiful melodies have made it popular for decades. Simon and Garfunkel is one of the most famous American folk groups and their Central Park concert in September of 1981 captured the essence of the season. Simon and Garfunkel were known for their spot-on harmonies and poetic lyrics and the live audio from the concert in Central Park adds to the music’s warmth.

“At Last!” by Etta James- Soulful jazz by an iconic voice

Etta James became famous for her powerful and soulful voice, which is in full force for “At Last!” the iconic singer’s first studio album from 1960. James gives the covers of popular jazz and pop tunes a certain warmth that can still be felt today. “Stormy Weather” is ideal for those days when the fall rain feels like it is clinging to campus.

“Darkness and Light” by John Legend- Smooth operator with soulful lyrics

“Darkness and Light” was released in 2016 as John Legend’s fifth foray in the studio and it is everything we love about him. Legend’s smooth voice and emotional lyrics put his music on another level from other contemporary artists. The album features a blend of pop and R&B that is suitable for dancing, chilling or stomping through the fallen leaves.

“When Harry Met Sally… (Music from the Motion Picture)” by Harry Connick Jr.- Jazz!

This may seem like the oddball of the list, but jazz is a very autumnal genre. Jazz is warm, laid-back and complex. Somehow, the soundtrack to “When Harry Met Sally…” sounds more like an autumn walk through Central Park than even Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Concert in Central Park,” and Harry Connick Jr.’s voice makes listeners feel like they are also falling in love in Manhattan.

What autumn means to each person is entirely subjective, but if you are desperate to get into the fall mood, give these albums a listen.

life@theeagleonline.com


Never miss a story.

Get our weekly newsletter in your inbox.