by Nick Bridwell (Customer Service)
I’m a fall guy. NO, not the kind of “fall guy” who takes the blame for running over the founder’s statue in the town square and ends up in county jail for 11 days just so his two best friends don’t get in trouble with their short-tempered girlfriends. What kind of a dude do you think I am? I’m the other kind of fall guy. The guy who enjoys the fall season. Autumn. Sweet, slow, cool, autumn with its leaves of burgundy and burnt orange and its gentle call for the digging out of overshirts and cardigans from the back of the closet.
When I sit down to get to work on a short story, poem, or blog post, I like to have a soundtrack going; a soundtrack for my craft and a soundtrack for life in general. Here are 10 songs (in no particular order) that I really think have that certain “fall” feel. I hope you enjoy them and they help you slow down and enjoy the change of season.
1. Louis Armstrong- “When It’s Sleepy Time Down South”
Louis Armstrong’s mad scat lyrics always relax me and get me in the perfect chill mood. And then that smooth trumpet blows in and warms the room like a cozy fire.
2. Bob Dylan & Johnny Cash – “North Country Girl”
In my opinion, these men are two of the finest singer/songwriters of our lifetime. And here, the two combine their efforts for one of Dylan’s most atmospheric songs. You can really feel the wind blowing and you start thinking about that girl you once knew, too.
3. Ryan Adams – “Pretenders (Pretending’s Fun)”
It’s hard to pick just one fall-friendly Ryan Adams track. He’s an underrated, prolific genius. But, “Pretenders” is a real treat. It comes from a scrapped album (now a treasured bootleg a la Dylan). With phrases like: “Folks covered up with roses might envy everyone…” it’s easy to feel the emotions in a Ryan Adams-penned song.
4. Fran Healy- “Anything”
Fran Healy, lead singer of Scotland’s greatest alt band, Travis, goes ethereally solo on the album Wreckorder, and the track that haunts the most is “Anything”. The strings are gentle and piercing and Mr. Healy’s voice is as melodic and soulful as ever. For a bonus, try “Sing Me to Sleep”, which features Neko Case.
5. VAST- “One More Day”
When the leaves begin to fall like lost opportunities and a scarf is just one more way to keep the memories inside, you’ll find songs like “One More Day” a perfect compliment to the chill of an early fall.
6. The Wallflowers – “One Headlight”
Jakob Dylan’s “One Headlight” is one of those 90s heartbreak songs that sounds best being blasted on your car radio while you are cutting through a foggy night, winding down country roads in the middle of the night, perhaps with only one headlight to lead you.
7. David Gray – “Babylon” (Acoustic)
I play this song on repeat a lot during the autumn. Gray picks the guitar softly and sings of a relationship that, like the Biblical Babylon, had potential but is seemingly in trouble. Such a beautiful song and so powerful, especially in its acoustic renditions.
8. The National – “Green Gloves”
When I hear this song, I picture all of my old friends out living their lives and I miss them. I think of my college days wandering through the falling leaves of Denton, TX, with nothing but my peacoat and the love of those around me to keep me warm. I believe the song is a bittersweet masterpiece. You can’t possibly maintain relationships with everyone, but you can still think about them from time to time. And it’s in those brief moments that you are with them.
9. Coldplay – “Amsterdam”
“Come on, oh my star is fading and I swerve out of control. If I, If I’d only waited…I’d not be stuck here in this hole.” This is one of the most powerful piano-rock songs of all time. There are a lot of good Coldplay tracks to choose from. “The Scientist” and “Fix You” are heartbreakingly sad, but “Amsterdam: just feels more like the wet and cold and thunderous autumn nights. Less of a whimper than a shout.
10. The Cure- “The Forest”
There’s something so eerie about this song that it feels weird not listening to it during the fall. The lyrics spin a compelling narrative of a man chasing a strange voice through the woods and the music is altogether anxious. Will he catch her? You can find out for yourself if you give it a listen:
Nick is part of our Social Engagement and Customer Service teams. He released his debut novel, The Ties That Bind (insert link to: http://amzn.com/0990573702) in 2014, and has also published short fiction, pop culture essays, popular blogs, and music reviews for a number of print and digital outlets.