October has always been one of my favourite months. Not only does it truly signal the arrival of autumn, but virtually my entire family (blood and now extended one) celebrates their birthdays. So it’s usually a month filled with friends, family, too much nice food and drink but mostly happiness. It’s also a perfect excuse for me to photograph the norm looking just that little bit prettier. Leaves turn all kinds of auburn and fiery reds, first and last light of the day becomes beautiful and crisp mornings give you an excuse to bring out the hats and scarves again.
It’s also a perfect excuse to crack out the autumn playlist. Yes, I am a firm believer in seasonal music. I have specific summer, autumn and winter playlists. Albums or bands that make music that just seems appropriate. Here’s some albums I find perfectly autumnal that will definitely be making my playlist.
Freelance Whales – ‘Weathervanes’ OR ‘Diluvia’
Even the artwork for Weathervanes (above) suits the season. Freelance Whales are a band I first heard thanks to One Tree Hill (responsible for introducing me to a few bands actually) and it’s not my usual kind of music, but something charmed me. The song was ‘Broken Horse’, which I’ve stolen a line from for the title of this blog. Perhaps it was brilliant lyrics, or the vocals that drew me in, either way I wanted to hear more. Weathervanes is warming and calm, much as autumn itself makes you want to wrap up and start drinking hot chocolate. I used to listen to this a lot while walking to work, crunching leaves on my trip. Both ‘Hannah’ and ‘Ghosting’ are highlights for me aside from the beautiful ‘Broken Horse’ from which my title and the lyrics on the leaf hail from.
Imagine my surprise then when their follow-up album, ‘Diluvia’ also fitted the season perfectly. It’s a bigger scale album, their popularity tenfold thanks to Starbucks picking up ‘Broken Horse’ to play in their stores worldwide and them having featured on television shows. The album’s no less relaxing and beautiful though. I personally love ‘Dig into waves’ and ‘Red Star’
The 1975 – ‘The 1975’ and ‘Sex EP’
I don’t think I’m particularly the target demographic for The 1975, but I heard a demo of ‘Sex’ thanks to a guy that I used to work with and I really liked it. He gave me the Sex EP and it’s lovely. It’s less of the big chorus and pop bits they’re mainly loved for. There’s a track on there called ‘You’ that is probably my favourite.
Only a couple of the songs on here made it onto their full album, but the full album also features the rather excellent ‘Antichrist’ that’s well worth a listen. The album as a whole is great for autumn and winter, the music and some of the lyrics seem to fit with how I feel during the season. In these seasons, I like to crack out my deluxe version vinyl that includes the brilliant bonus songs, make a coffee and just relax.
White Lies – ‘To lose my life’
White Lies have a new album out, that I intend to listen the crap out of on my drives to work this week. They’ve remained a stalwart favourite for me since the release of the above debut album in 2009. I listened to that album so often on my long drives from Leicester to Grimsby. Not only is it perfect for the weather, but also for driving. Anthem sound choruses and guitar led tracks with a stunning voice to boot make it their best album still, but follow up efforts have been good in a different kind of way.
Brand New – ‘The devil and god are raging inside me’
One of my favourite bands and favourite albums of all time, it’s a near perfect album. Trying to pick a favourite song from it is tough. Lyrically brilliant and such good solo pieces of music mixed in, I’ll no doubt be lining up the vinyl for a few Autumn listens.
The National – Any album
I’ve always associated The National with autumn and winter, similarly to my next choice too. Perhaps because it’s beautiful music that’s calm and with tough lyrics. Some songs make me think of the season more than others, I thought their latest album was particularly fitting.
City & Colour – Any album
Dallas Green’s solo outing after Alexisonfire surprised a free people, so tonally different. He has a great voice though and writes rather lovely songs to boot. Like The National, any album seems fitting.
I was a cub scout – ‘I want you to know that there is always hope’
This album was the only one the British two-piece ever did, a shame because I adored them. Criminally unknown, it’s a lovely album. Give it a go, standout tracks are X and X.
The Dykeenies – ‘Nothing means everything’
Again, a little known Scottish band. Brian Henderson’s vocals might be some of my favourite ever, quite unique. This album was full of energy and some great tracks in between. It got me through many library sessions at college.
Honourable mentions – Little Comets (whose music works anytime, anywhere), Acceptance, Anberlin, Switchfoot, Fleet Foxes, The Perishers, Bloc Party and The Smiths.