There’s something about fall. Corduroys and acorns are in the air, flannel and candy corn abound, you’ve finally broken in your back-to-school kicks, and it’s Apple Week at Leo’s. Look outside at the leaves. Just look at them. Does it get better than this? It’s enough to make you want—nay, need!—to curl up on a big red velveteen sofa and sip hot apple cider. Let me help you out and provide the soundtrack for this perfectly, eternally autumnal weather.
In terms of distinctly “autumn” music, I don’t think it gets much better than Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde. “Sooner or Later,” “I Want You,” and especially “Visions of Johanna” make me want to get in my car and wander around back roads for a couple hours (which is honestly the thing I probably miss the most about being home in the fall. I don’t know if it can be replicated on a bike). If you close your eyes, Memory Cassette’s “50mph” is a pretty good substitute for back road driving as well. So’s “Shearwater’s “Landscape at Speed” or “Rooks.”
I stand by my statement: biking is definitely not driving. However, biking does have its perks—the wind in your hair, the sun on your face, that smoky-leaf smell whipping around you makes for some serious synesthesia. Skip class and bring Broken Bells’s “October” and Leonard Cohen’s “So Long, Marianne” along for the ride. Your teachers will understand. Trust me.
All of autumn is a good time to play any Belle & Sebastian song and any season is a good season to play “Like Dylan in the Movies” and “Nice Day for a Sulk,” so logically, you should probably be listening to that right now. That is unless you’re less in the mood for a sulk and more up for Yo La Tengo’s “Autumn Sweater,” which isn’t a bad mood either.
“Harvest Moon” by Neil Young and “My Lady’s House” by Iron and Wine are perfect jams for that wooded-area-stroll-with-your-significant-other. Just try to listen and not imagine sitting in class staring out the window wishing you were hanging out in a pumpkin patch holding hands with some Beanboot-clad cutie. Also, super obvious, but Nick Drake’s Pink Moon, especially “Place to Be,” is pretty perfect for autumn.
BONUS TRACK! How To Dress Well’s “I Wish.” Familiar, right? Yeah, that’s R. Kelly. This guy Tom Krell’s cover is extremely beautiful and heartbreaking and wonderful. It’s almost more wintery than autumnal, but it’s really nice for those awful late November evenings.