Bring on the Sweaters and Hot Cider

Days are shorter, air is more crisp, the outside world is taking on that nearly barren appearance of late fall. It’s a contemplative season, of reflection and looking back while moving forward into the fray of too much to do in far too little time. Fall’s always been a favorite of mine– everything looks and smells better in the fall, before winter takes over and freezes us inside for months at a time.

Here are a few songs that always sound a little better in those months ending in R:

 

“The Noose,” A Perfect Circle

Any track from the group’s 2003 release Thirteenth Step would do, but this was the first single, I believe, and probably one of the more emotionally weighty on an album full of heavy songs. Melodic and fraught with hard, soul-searching lyrics, it’s still a favorite go-to of mine, especially for long drives on gloomy days.

 

“In the Aeroplane Over the Sea,” Neutral Milk Hotel

Again, this entire album gets played for days when the weather’s cold and rainy and leaves are still clinging to trees. My introduction to this band was a coworker friend with a penchant for ignoring work to talk music with me for hours, a trick I used several times to keep him from leaving happy hours before he could say his name with any clarity. (Ah, the good ol’ days, eh?) When the calendar hits October or November and the clouds gather, this CD goes in and all is right with the world.

 

“Mouthful of Cavities,” Blind Melon

I feel like I need a disclaimer here –I’m not a super sad emo girl. I promise! But fall is a moody time that calls for moody music. This is also a small tribute to Shannon Hoon, who passed away 20 years ago last month. Another example of a talented, singular artist who didn’t live long enough to show us all he could do. Soup is a woefully underrated album. Woefully. Give it a listen and see for yourself.  Jena Kraus, a fan who “just kept showing up” to the band’s shows and rehearsals, joins on the vocals.  Lucky lady.  Something to look forward to in the new year (because it’s never too soon): Danny Clinch’s documentary on Shannon Hoon and Blind Melon, largely featuring Hoon’s self-recorded home movies.

 

“Far Behind,” Candlebox

Maybe it’s the band walking through leaves; maybe it’s the opening chords, maybe it’s something I’ve long since forgotten, but Candlebox usually makes me thing of fall, of Halloween and walking around my teeny hometown with my friends waiting for something to happen. I have a cousin who just turned 20 and is just now discovering this band–a band older than she is, which is a terrifying thought in and of itself. She loves this track. Can’t blame her. (Well, you can if you want. I don’t.) And in keeping with the Blind Melon tribute, Candlebox wrote this song in honor of Andy Wood, enigmatic and larger-than-life personality who fronted the legendary Mother Love Bone in Seattle.

 

“Cemetery,” Headstones

Yeah, Halloween was last weekend. Don’t care. This is one of the most perfect Halloween songs in my collection. The lyrics are fantastically icky and darkly hilarious. Classic Headstones.

 

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