My Autumn Playlist

Because “Autumn” in L.A. is negligible at best, I have to live my seasons vicariously through media. I tend to make music playlists, for example, to play in my car or iPod whenever I want to feel like I’m living in some crisp, fall-like place. I do this for other seasons as well. It works fairly well, I think.

Anyway, the following is my “Autumn 2008” playlist. These songs alternate between a sort of shiftless urban malaise and a midwestern harvest-time sturdiness. It will make more sense if you hear the songs (which are mostly available for mp3 purchase, wherever you purchase your tunes!).

“Cold Wind” – Arcade Fire: Songs about cold winds always strike me as quintessentially autumnal.

“Memorial” – Explosions in the Sky: Explosions in the Sky makes music that I will always associate with fall, maybe because I’ll always associate them with Friday Night Lights.

“Victoria’s Secret” – Quiet Village: The schmaltzy, early-80s-nighttime soap vibe of this track has a strangely nostalgic, haunting effect.

“Sonho Dourado” – Daniel Lanois: Truly one of the great instrumental treasures from Daniel “I produced The Joshua Tree” Lanois.

“Guilty Cubicles” – Broken Social Scene: Aptly used in the film Half Nelson, this song has one of the most curiously appropriate titles ever.

“Closing Scene” – The Radio Dept: A fall mix would not be complete without some neo-shoegazer lamentation from The Radio Dept!

“UK” – Burial: My second favorite song for turning up in my car when I’m driving in L.A. late at night.

“Lemon Tree” – Herb Alpert & Thievery Corporation: A truly gorgeous song I recently discovered featuring Thievery Corporation’s treatment of jazz trumpeter Herb Alpert.

“Trials” – Damien Jurado: From his brand new album, this Damien Jurado track finds him sounding remarkably like Nick Drake

“Constants Are Changing” – Boards of Canada: The title says it all.

“Torn Blue Foam Couch” – Grand Archives: I highly suggest this new Sub Pop band. Very easy-listening with a touch of nostalgia.

“Rollercoaster” – M. Ward: My new favorite song from quiet alt-country folkster M. Ward.

“Too Late” – M83: My third favorite song for turning up in my car when I’m driving in L.A. late at night.

“Yardwork in November” – The Actual Tigers: I haven’t heard anything from this obscure band since this song, but I really like it. Sounds kinda like Paul Simon-esque folk.

“Long Nights” – Eddie Vedder: One of many great songs from Vedder’s spectacular Into the Wild soundtrack.

“Family Tree” – TV on the Radio: From their new album; a brilliant, subtle ballad from an increasingly impressive band.

“Peace of Mind” – Mindy Smith: What I listen to on stressful days.

“Ponytails” – Panda Bear: My favorite song for turning up in my car when I’m driving in L.A. late at night.

“Fljótavík” – Sigur Ros: Simple but devastating.

“Meadowlarks” – Fleet Foxes: Can’t get enough of Fleet Foxes’ beautiful Appalachian-inspired tunes, which are thoroughly autumnal.

“Auntie’s Lock/Infinitum” – Flying Lotus: A solemn beaut from hip hop producer Steve Ellison (aka Flying Lotus).

7 responses to “My Autumn Playlist

  1. I think if we had to commute together, we would get along.

    For me, it is time to bust out The Album Leaf for a month or two.

  2. No autumn playlist of mine is complete without a little from Hood, Epic45, and/or July Skies.

  3. Thanks for the list…I look forward to checking out some of these online.

    Call me sappy…but, for some reason, I can’t get through fall without a little “November Rain” by GNR. It’s not my favorite type of music, but that song takes me back to my college years at Mason.

  4. Some good picks: Explosions, Arcade, Sigur and M.Ward. They’re some of my favorites. In Michigan the leaves are bursting with yellows and reds. It’s beautiful!

  5. I’m looking forward to spending my first late fall/winter with Bon Iver’s “For Emma, Forever Ago.”

    Great list, Brett!

  6. Brett, I thrill at the fact that I can find your political views so vexing (this, despite the fact that we share a interest in Heidegger) and your music taste so well-entailed with mine. For a moment, I feel my soul hanging in the balance. Then “Memorial” ends and I come back to the earth.


  7. So I realize you made this list a year ago. But I just did a google search for some tunes to listen to on this beautiful autumn day and stumbled across this list and absolutely loved it. Thank you.

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