If you’re anything like me, you want every asset of your life to align with the season. Summer is full of trap music, electronic bops and even a little country. As the weather gets colder my music gets quiet, slow and a bit sad. Something about fall makes me less inclined to listen to new music, but rather indulge in nostalgia with old favorites. I cannot give a definitive answer of what makes an album “fallish,” but here are five that I will be listening to for the next few months.
- Pure Heroine (Extended) — Lorde
Sixteen-year-old Lorde started a wave of sad pop with this one. Pure Heroine cashes in on my nostalgia. Something about fall’s transition makes me think back to those good ole’ days before things like rent and resumes were real. This album is the perfect soundtrack to high school. It has all the good parts like football games, homecoming and crushes. It also reflects the plights of bored suburban teenagers who spend Friday nights driving around in their mom’s car and hanging out at parks. Lorde twisted the expectations of being a 16-year-old pop star by diving into dark, cynical themes and aesthetics with songs like “Buzzcut Season” and “White Teeth Teens.”
Pure Heroine just turned six years old. It has been one of my favorite albums ever since then.
2. The Glow pt. 2 — The Microphones
The Glow pt. 2 captures an isolated, natural landscape through noise rock, indie and folk elements. The Microphones, led by Phil Elverum, released this highly acclaimed album just over 18 years ago. The concept album stands at 20 tracks, some just over a minute and others just under 10 minutes. It requires patience, but in the end, it is worth it. Elverum uses experimental elements and rambling lyrics to connect human loss to nature, and above all create an album that feels unique.
The album bounces back and forth between tracks like “The Moon” which layers messy noise and “Headline Horseman” which is subdued and vulnerable. The album is filled with metaphors for nostalgia, fear and isolation. Like most of the albums on this list, it is reaching for meaning in the past. “The Mansion” uses a hollow-sounding acoustic guitar over Elverum’s deadpan voice comparing himself to an empty home. Like the weather, the instrumentals shift tone constantly. On “I Want Wind to Blow” the guitar is light and drums steady, a backdrop to the singing — the storm is just beginning. “I Want to Be Cold” is sharp and industrial. Much like the deep sadness, it is chaotic and overwhelming. The Glow pt. 2 transports you to a cabin deep in the Northwest if you can’t do that this fall.
3. U.F.O.F. — Big Thief
U.F.O.F. was released in May, but it is no doubt a fall album. The folk band makes tracks that are as haunting as soothing. Take the opening track, “Contact.” The lead singer, Adrianne Lenker’s muted whispers are immersed in soft guitar until a sudden shriek unsettles the dream. The album strings together naturalism and metaphors to create an unsettling reality that feels real but cannot be. In “Orange,” Lenker sings “Fragile orange wind in the garden/ Fragile means that I can hear her flesh/ Crying little rivers in her forearm. U.F.O.F. is eerily nostalgic, like a foggy memory. It is perfect to listen to while doing some light studying.
4. Patched Up — beabadoobee
While the cover art is enough to classify this as a fall-y jam, like the season, Patched Up is an album about transitioning and maturing. Indie artist, beabadoobee, earnestly reflects on growing out of childhood with this E.P. Her high voice makes the album feel naive and innocent, along with tracks like “Eighteen” that details the fears of gaining responsibility. My favorite tracks are “The Way I Spoke,” “Art Class” and “If You Want To.” Play this one on a rainy day with a cup of coffee.
5. Turns off the lights — Kim Petras
One of the best parts of fall time is that the best holiday lands right in the middle of it. TURN OFF THE LIGHT is European club music meets 1980s horror film score. It is ultra-pop, electronic fun combined with Halloween camp. TURN OFF THE LIGHT, VOL.1 came out last year and was re-released this year with double the amount of material. The album is packed with heavy hitters like “There Will Be Blood,” “Tell Me It’s A Nightmare” and “Turn Off The Light.” Petras is known for high intensity, synthetic pop songs like these, but she also branches out of her comfort zone to experiment with her love of horror. Purely haunting, experimental electronic tracks like “<demons>” and “o m e n” are a bit avant-garde, yet danceable. This album has several tracks that should be added to your “Spooky Halloween Party” playlist.