Fall Album Preview

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Everyone seems to love the fall. It’s sweater weather, coffee is always ready and everything is in some way pumpkin related. The air is colder and everything just seems to be a little more beautiful as the leaves change colors and fall onto the ground. To help you get the most out of this fall season, here are 25 albums that compliment the scenery perfectly.

 

The Microphones – The Glow Pt. 2

Still boasting a reputation as one of the greatest Indie Folk records ever, The Glow Pt. 2 is a near perfect mix of lo-fi experimentation and gorgeous songwriting. Listening to this album is like taking a long walk in a cold, dirty, yet comforting forest in the middle of October, surrounded by nothing but nature and chilling air. (Also, the first 7 tracks on this thing in order makeup maybe my favorite 27 minutes of music ever)

 

Chelsea Wolfe – Apokalypsis

Sure, maybe Halloween is a perfect reason to put this on, but Chelsea’s ghostly vocals, eerie melodies and dense sound pallets on Apokalypsis are the best pairing to cool autumn wind since black coffee (because pumpkin spice lattes are grosssorry, but someone had to say it).

 

Nico – Chelsea Girl

Somehow Nico’s deadpan voice is part of what’s made her such a favorite figure to this day. Despite being far from an example of her as an artist and songwriter, Chelsea Girl is immaculately performed and written (though not by Nico herself) collection of Folk songs, with her indescribable voice taking front stage. Brew some tea and enjoy!

 

Marissa Nadler – For My Crimes

Nadler’s music has always been perfect for the colder seasons, but, on her latest solo record, the Folk singer and songwriter’s signature reverb-heavy sound comes across in an especially haunting way, making for some of her best songs to date. Each finger picked guitar string is like another drop of November rain.

 

Arthur Russell – World Of Echo

Made almost completely from cello, vocals and eclectic electronics, I can say with complete confidence that there is likely nothing like the coldness of World Of Echo. Pitchfork writer Jenn Pelly described it as “one of the loneliest albums ever recorded”, and I couldn’t say it better myself. As the colder months slog slowly on, many people start to feel lonely or depressed, and listening to World Of Echo is like being let in on a lifetime of lonesome secrets from a friend, not through songs, but through suggestions of what, if you squint your eyes, could be seen as melodies and song structures.

 

Veronica Falls – Veronica Falls

All you need to see is the cover to know how cold this Indie Pop record sounds. From Halloween unsung classics like Found Love In A Graveyard, to sinister, Punk influenced songs like Bad Feeling, Veronica Falls’ self titled debut is, dare I say, the perfect autumn album.

 

Joanna Newsom – The Milk-Eyed Mender

Though not on any streaming services, anyone who knows contemporary music knows that Joanna Newsom needs no introduction as one of the most talented and unique forces of nature living today (or ever, honestly). Though less ambitious than her subsequent records, The Milk-Eyed Mender is a stripped back collection of beautiful tracks where the harpist’s harp and voice lead the way through many emotions.

 

Nick Drake – Pink Moon

Before his tragic young death, Nick Drake released his now-considered masterpiece, Pink Moon. Recorded over two nights, all tracks (except for the title track) are solely Drake’s acoustic guitar, voice and poetry that sinks into your soul like no other songwriter can. Depressing, yes, but comforting on a chilly fall morning.

 

Richard Dawson – Peasant

Drawing inspiration from medieval Folk music, Richard Dawson’s Peasant is a throwback of sorts. But not like an indie band referencing the 70s, more like a shut in genius referencing a painful autumn in the 1600s. It’s not the most accessible on this list, but certainly one of the most unique.

 

Mount Eerie – Lost Wisdom

Not even passing the 25 minute mark, Lost Wisdom is a collaboration between Mount Eerie, Julie Dorian and Frederick Squire. It proves power in simplicity. Putting it on is like transporting to a cabin in the woods.

 

Angel Olsen – Half Way Home

St. Louis native Angel Olsen is no longer what she used to be. She’s grown in tremendous proportions since this record, but this is a reminder of where she came from. It’s a mellow collection of Country songs with some of the most beautiful songwriting of Olsen’s career.

 

Grouper – Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill

Constantly blurring the lines between accessible and experimental music, Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill is Liz Harris’ masterpiece. But don’t let the title fool you, this is one of the most peaceful albums you will ever hear with other-worldly gorgeous songwriting. It’s like being sung to sleep by a ghost and her guitar. It’s like spending just a little bit of time in a world you never want to leave. 

 

Four Tet – Rounds

Four Tet’s combination of Folk music and electronica is something to behold on Rounds. It feels like the leaves are slowly changing colors around you.

 

Joni Mitchell – Hejira

Many forget about Hejira when talking about the genius works of Joni Mitchell, but never has an artist like Mitchell painted such a uniquely personal self portrait. The chilly aesthetic of its stunning album cover carries into the music, which contains some of her most captivating guitar playing and poetically conversational lyrics.

 

Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works 85-92

This is not only one of the best IDM records ever made, but it’s also a fantastic study album whose atmosphere contributes to its place on this list.

 

Angelo Badalamenti – Twin Peaks OST

There is perhaps no soundtrack quite as iconic as the transcending eerie trip that is the Twin Peaks OST. If you’ve seen even one episode of the show, you’ll understand. If not, this record will still bring you the fall vibes you’re looking for.

 

Vashti Bunyan – Just Another Diamond Day

Some of the most heartwarming Folk music you will hear. It’s whisper quiet, delicate, sometimes even cute but Bunyan’s voice and songwriting are what makes Just Another Diamond Day such a great record for the fall. Listening to this record is essentially the sonic equivalent to walking along a cold autumn sidewalk as a child.

 

Giles Corey – Giles Corey

Giles Corey’s self titled record is not for the faint of heart. This isn’t for that Instagram photo of you sipping your latte with a book while looking out the window at an orange colored yard. It’s for the rainiest, darkest, thundery-est fall day, and you’ll want to keep it that way.

 

Burzum – Filosofem

A Black Metal staple, everything I said about Giles Corey can be applied here, only 10… maybe 20 fold. 

 

Simon & Garfunkel – Sounds of Silence

For all the uncultured folks who think Disturbed wrote their horrendous cover of Sounds Of Silence, nope. This is where that song’s melodramatic, cringe inducing poop tank originated, one of the most iconic duos of all time. The songs on this record are everything you want and nothing you don’t, a short, tight collection of tracks that aid in the fall aesthetic.

 

Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell

A sad modern classic, Sujfan Stevens’ Carrie & Lowell is one of the songwriter’s most celebrated works. 

 

Bob Dylan – The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan

I mean, how could I not?

 

Neutral Milk Hotel – In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

Ok, I promise I’m not some Pitchfork zombie, In The Aeroplane Over The Sea deserves every bit of over-hype many feel it gets. The acoustic guitar layers, lo-fi approach and absolutely unforgettable (often incredibly simple) songwriting is what makes this a classic, and it just so happens to match the fall in a spectacular way.

 

Cat Power – Moon Pix

Nearly half of this record was written “in one deranged night” after a hallucinatory nightmare Chan Marshall had in the fall of 1997. Writing so many songs in one night lead to a uniquely haunting sound and style of songwriting that lead Moon Pix to later became known as an essential Slowcore project. It’s haunting, it’s patience testing, but there’s something about the ethereal energy this record carries that keeps people coming back, especially on cold nights. I can tell you from personal experience that this thing makes for quite the unique cold November jog.

 

Radiohead – In Rainbows

This needs no explanation.