The weather is cooling down and our campus is beginning its transition from our favorite color (green, of course) to shades of red, orange and yellow. Football season is in full swing, Pumpkin Spice Lattes are in hand, and plans for trips to the cider mill are in the works.
Music is a great way to celebrate and relish in the start of a new season. Our volunteers have rounded up a list of albums that vibe perfectly with the chilly fall days ahead. Find a new favorite or comment with your ultimate autumn listens!
Major: Comparative Cultures and Politics
Favorite fall activity: Drinking warming beverages in cold weather, relentlessly wearing huge dad sweaters
Favorite fall album: Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes
If you’re anything like me, you are fed up with this 80 degree, sunny weather, stick-to-the-desk-seat crap that has been lingering (it’s almost October!), and are ready to move on to those glorious 50 to 60 degree days paired with the brilliant fall colors that us Michiganders eagerly anticipate the other 10 months of the year.
There are some albums that, through and through, evoke all senses on par with sound. For me, Helplessness Blues is one of those albums. Since its release in 2011, it has reminded me of the fall season each time I listen to it. When I find myself missing the colors, temperature, and scents of my favorite time of year, the album provides all of that for me. For some reason, I am especially reminded of northern Michigan in the fall; if you’re from out of state and haven’t had the opportunity to see that area in the fall, take a weekend and go!
It is rare for an album to be “cozy”, but Helplessness Blues is just that. “Sim Sala Bim” and “Someone You’d Admire” are among my favorites, though every song is beautiful. If you need a way to make the wait for the fall weather we pine after just a bit shorter, Helplessness Blues is a solid start.
Major: It’s a mouthful. I am a Media and Information major with a minor in Environmental Sustainability and a specialization in Marine Ecosystem Preservation. Basically, I like music and fish.
Favorite fall activity: Tailgating, and by that I mean getting weird and rolling around in strangers’ leaf piles.
Favorite fall album: LIFTED Or The Story Is In The Soil, Keep Your Ear To The Ground
For me, fall is a fresh slate, a new transition, and the time when the leaves turn pretty colors. With all the change going on around me I always like to go back to something that feels comfortable music-wise. For me, that means Bright Eyes. My favorite fall album is also the first one I bought for myself on vinyl: LIFTED Or The Story Is In The Soil, Keep Your Ear To The Ground (I know, even more syllables than my major.)
In my opinion, this album is the most enveloping and raw of all of Conor Oberst’s pieces of work. It’s put together thoughtfully and is lyrically absolutely beautiful. I swoon for a song that tells a good story and “Waste of Paint” does just that. It switches dialogues between Conor himself, an unhappy couple, and a drunk driving family member. It’s the saddest sad-boy album, without feeling too ingenuine. Of course, he still slips in plenty of his seemingly messy “scream singing,” filled with so much emotion it could make even the toughest person emit a sad sigh.
Even with everything that is going on, there still manages to be a few great ballads in “LIFTED” with one of my favorites being “You Will. You? Will. You? Will. You? Will,” a song about a childhood romance turned “one that got away.” My favorite line from the sappy and simple song is, “We were just kids when I first kissed you in the attic of my parents house, and I wish we were there now.”
If you are kindred spirits with myself you will love this record. It’s for those who admire emotions and feeling them quite deeply, songs that are very lyrically poetic, and intricately produced indie-folk. Or for those who need more time to feel sad about school starting (I know I’m still not over it.)
Major: Professional Writing
Favorite fall activity: Getting bundled up and standing outside for an extended period of time to watch a bunch of guys toss a ball around on a field.
Favorite fall album: The Orchard by Ra Ra Riot
Summer is officially over. Sorry to all of you that live to be on the beach and love to sweat on a daily basis, but it’s time for those of us that are cold-blooded to take over for a bit. If you’re really upset about summer being over, I’d recommend snagging a ride from pretty much anyone that’s heading to an apple orchard. After a few crisp Michigan apples and a donut, you’ll remember why everyone freaks out over this season change.
If you can’t make it to an apple orchard, at least you can listen to The Orchard. Ra Ra Riot is my go-to fall artist. Their funky riffs on violins and cellos instead of guitars gives this album a hollowed-out sound that I have always associated with the slow and steady changing of the leaves. My Fall favorites from the album include “Massachusetts,” “Too Dramatic,” and “Foolish”. The Syracuse-born band released The Orchard in 2010 following their debut album The Rhumb Line from 2008.