8 Essential Autumn Albums For Your Descent Into Hibernation
“Beauty for some provides escape, who gain a happiness in eyeing the gorgeous buttocks of the ape or Autumn sunsets exquisitely dying” – Langston Hughes, probably
Fall is upon us, and with it comes new feels. Whether you’re rolling around in a great big pile of leaves or throwing on your Adidas Originals jacket for a brisk evening walk, there is a decidedly unique beauty in the air. This beauty is not around for very long though, so we must enjoy it while we can. Here are 8 essential autumn albums to aid in the experience:
Yo La Tengo – I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One (1997)
It seems fitting that an album whose most impressive song has the refrain, “Me with nothing to say / You in your autumn sweater,” would be included in this list. Yo La Tengo‘s eighth studio album functions as a hazy contemplation of love, lust, empathy, and sadness — perfect for an overly intellectual hipster or even a midnight marauder.
Belle & Sebastian – If You’re Feeling Sinister (1996)
Ah, the bedroom pop masterpiece. On Sinister, the Scottish outfit’s second full-length, Stuart Murdoch and co. crafted an intimate, witty record rich in soft melody. An absolute staple for any Autumn playlist.
Joni Mitchell – Blue (1971)
Intricate piano arrangements and a dense lyrical palette define Joni Mitchell‘s Blue. An absolutely perfect album for heady contemplations of the aesthetics the world has to offer during this time of year. Deep yet airy, Blue bridges the gap between sonic nimbleness and personal detachment.
Protomartyr – The Agent Intellect (2015)
The Agent Intellect is for the more don’t-give-a-damn autumnal feelings. The record is wrapped with lazy post-punk progressions that spark a sense of beautiful lethargy. If you’re in the mood to not care, throw this record on your Sennheisers and take a stroll down fuck-it lane.
The Mountain Goats – All Hail West Texas (2002)
For a record that sounds like it was recorded through a tape recorder found in your mother’s attic, All Hail West Texas is surprisingly progressive in its abstract lyricism. This is a record to get completely lost in wondering exactly what planet John Darnielle is on when he writes. If you like your autumn filled with uncertainty and lo-fi folk, add this record to your listen list.
Nick Drake – Pink Moon (1972)
Pink Moon is the singer/songwriter martyr’s last album, and its incredibly opaque with emotion. Its a record that uses mostly simple guitar picking as a backbone for Drake to lament about his desperation. It’s a gentle, gorgeous record that demands to be heard this time of year.
American Football – American Football (1999)
American Football is an emo-lovers haven. Touchingly off-tuned vocals and steady instrumentals give this record a type of angst palpable enough to get a rise out of anyone. This is a deeply touching record for the patient listener, and is perfect for the nostalgic feels autumn has to offer.
Joanna Newsom – Ys (2006)
Ys contains only five songs, but each is sprawling in length. With these abnormal structures, Newsom seems fit to pack in heavy lyrical topics over quiet orchestras of sound. Simultaneously dense and simple, this record perfectly soundtracks the slightly complicated sweetness of Autumn.