No-Fail Fall Albums
October 6, 2019 8:32 AM   Subscribe

It’s finally fall, you have the windows open to the sunny, chilly breeze, you can hear the fallen leaves scattering along the street, and along with your morning coffee and maybe an apple cider donut, you think “I know the perfect album for this time of year: it’s ___________!”

Any genre is fine, just please recommend an entire album rather than a song or playlist.
posted by sallybrown to Media & Arts (49 answers total) 56 users marked this as a favorite
John Cale - Paris 1919
posted by porn in the woods at 8:44 AM on October 6, 2019 [6 favorites]

Arthur Russell - World of Echo
posted by nightrecordings at 8:48 AM on October 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

Five Leaves Left - Nick Drake
posted by saladin at 8:53 AM on October 6, 2019 [19 favorites]

Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of this Country

October Project - October Project
posted by willnot at 9:24 AM on October 6, 2019 [5 favorites]

James Taylor's Greatest Hits, especially "Walking Man."
posted by MonkeyToes at 9:30 AM on October 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

Hex Enduction Hour is my favourite Fall album. Here's Winter

Oh.... Wait. You mean Autumn ;)
posted by maupuia at 10:28 AM on October 6, 2019 [10 favorites]

Also Bright Eyes - Fevers and Mirrors
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:29 AM on October 6, 2019

Yo La Tengo - I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One
posted by mustard seeds at 10:44 AM on October 6, 2019 [12 favorites]

Sounds of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel (the whole LP, not just the title track). Leaves That Are Green, Kathy’s Song, and April Come She Will, all very autumnal, to me. Plus most of the rest.
posted by Rash at 10:57 AM on October 6, 2019 [10 favorites]

Beth Gibbons from Portishead put out an album in 2002, in collaboration with Paul Webb of Talk Talk, called Out of Season. It's melancholic British folk-jazz, and ideal listening for October.

Reviews at the time noted this vibe:

: "Often the songs are about memory, and the way in which slivers of intense recollected emotion become embedded in the psyche. Somewhere between folk and torch singing, Gibbons finds a series of voices, as if each song is a different character. Romance is smoky Billie Holiday; skin-prickling opener Mysteries is crystalline 1960s folk; Resolve is husky resignation. Often incredibly sparse, sometimes lush (Tom the Model seems to quote from the heartbreak soul of Nina Simone's Do What You Gotta Do), the mood is desperately intimate, overwhelmingly autumnal. Out of Season is gorgeously uneasy listening".

Independent: "The album title is intended to evoke the nature of ageing, of slipping out of step with the times, though ironically the songs' autumnal hues and moods are perfectly in season: it's the most October-ly of albums you'll hear, full of melancholy and retrospection, stark and sad as trees losing their leaves as they give up on the promises of summer".

Popmatters: "Webb's arrangements are daringly sparse, but perfectly accommodate the autumnal, reflective quality of Gibbon's voice and words. There is an almost tangible sense of place here, the kind of quiet solemnity found alone within the confines of a thick-walled cottage, wind gusting outside, clouds billowing above a raw, ravaged landscape".
It's available most places. Here's the opening song, Mysteries.
posted by rollick at 11:06 AM on October 6, 2019 [3 favorites]

Eva Cassidy, "Songbird" esp. Autumn Leaves and the heartbreaking I Know You By Heart.
posted by headnsouth at 11:25 AM on October 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

Elliott Smith’s xo, obviously an album most people know, but one whose superbly autumnal qualities I would like to elucidate — next slide, please —
posted by thesmallmachine at 11:36 AM on October 6, 2019 [7 favorites]

The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
posted by aka burlap at 11:37 AM on October 6, 2019

Anything by the Clientele — I’m partial to Suburban Light (which I listen to specifically commuting when it’s dark outside) but the album Bonfires on the Heath has the song “Harvest Time” :-)
posted by cluebucket at 11:45 AM on October 6, 2019 [4 favorites]

REM's Automatic For The People has taken up residence on my turntable the last couple weeks..
posted by mannequito at 11:52 AM on October 6, 2019 [7 favorites]

I was coming to say Songbird, but I see someone beat me to it.
posted by Wretch729 at 11:56 AM on October 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

I've never combed my music collection with seasons in mind before; turns out autumn / fall is well represented, and I've loved the trawl this has set me off on...

3 pieces of dub / ambient techno / electronica, and several bits of modern classical as a thank you for asking this question :)

Yagya - Rigning e.g. Rigning Fimm

Gas - Königsforst e.g. Königsforst 5

Martin Nonstatic - Granite e.g. Out of Silence

Max Richter - The Blue Notebooks e.g. On the Nature of Daylight (Entropy)

Nils Frahm - Felt e.g. Old Thought

Fabrizio Paterlini - Autumn Stoires e.g. Week #5

Moon Ate the Dark - Moon Ate the Dark e.g. Explosions in a Four Chambered Heart
posted by protorp at 12:05 PM on October 6, 2019

Veneer by José González
posted by speakeasy at 12:19 PM on October 6, 2019

For later in the fall, on a gray day when it's too cold to have the windows open, Daniel Lanois' For the Beauty of Wynona.
posted by Redstart at 12:23 PM on October 6, 2019

Any good recording of Brahms's 2nd Symphony will do you.
posted by praemunire at 12:51 PM on October 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

I would go for an album literally by The Fall, most likely Perverted by Language
posted by Morpeth at 1:15 PM on October 6, 2019 [3 favorites]

Stereolab - Transient Random Noise-bursts with Announcements. Wonderful autumnal feel.

Fairport Convention — Liege and Lief
posted by djinn dandy at 1:18 PM on October 6, 2019 [5 favorites]

Robyn Hitchcock - I Often Dream of Trains
The Magnetic Fields - Distant Plastic Trees
Sharon Van Etten - Epic
Songs: Ohia - Magnolia Electric Co.
Angel Olsen - Burn Your Fire For No Witness
Scott Walker - Scott 4
Francoise Hardy - The Vogue Years
Elliott Smith - s/t
Badly Drawn Boy - The Hour of Bewilderbeast
Jessica Pratt - On Your Own Love Again
A.C. Newman - Get Guilty
posted by misscleo3861 at 1:45 PM on October 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

I’ve always thought of Radiohead’s Kid A as quintessentially autumnal. Too dark and cold for spring or summer, too electric for the pall of winter.
posted by ejs at 1:49 PM on October 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

Van Morrison, Moondance.
posted by she's not there at 2:28 PM on October 6, 2019 [3 favorites]

Maybe this is cheating or overly obvious, but there's George Winston's Autumn.
posted by eponym at 2:52 PM on October 6, 2019

• Belle & Sebastian — The Boy With the Arab Strap
• Andrew Bird — The Mysterious Production of Eggs
• Iron & Wine — Our Endless Numbered Days
• Bon Iver — For Emma, Forever Ago
• Counting Crows — August and Everything After
• First Aid Kit — The Lion's Roar
• Ray LaMontagne — Trouble
and, switching to somber, reflective strings:
• Rachel's — Music for Egon Schiele
posted by D.Billy at 3:03 PM on October 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

Bill Evans Trio - Village Vanguard
Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
George Harrison - Dark Horse
posted by stinkfoot at 3:42 PM on October 6, 2019

The Decemberists - the crane wife
posted by azalea_chant at 3:47 PM on October 6, 2019

Sinead O'Connor - I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got.

A record that's all about dwelling on things that were once alive. It is all killer and no filler.

Yob - Clearing the Path To Ascend.

This is a colossal record. If you're not into PNW doom yet, start with the towering last track, Marrow, which does that thing of starting soft and building into a devastating fury. You'd think that'd be played out by now but perfect examples still pop up from time to time.
posted by Sauce Trough at 3:56 PM on October 6, 2019

Portishead — Dummy
posted by mumkin at 6:21 PM on October 6, 2019

Sufjan Stevens, "Casimir Pulaski Day"
please ignore the fact that Casimir Pulaski Day is, in fact, in March
posted by HeroZero at 7:03 PM on October 6, 2019

For whatever reason, Carbon Leaf's album Echo Echo always reminds me of Fall. Folky, celtic-like and just good all the way through. Listen to it here
posted by ashbury at 8:22 PM on October 6, 2019

XTC- Apple Venus Vol 1. Including the track "Harvest Festival."
posted by Larry David Syndrome at 8:30 PM on October 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

Marc Johnson, Sound of Summer Running.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 8:41 PM on October 6, 2019

Seconding I can hear the heart beating as one by YLT
posted by codacorolla at 10:07 PM on October 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

Oh, Springsteen's Tunnel of Love. Definitely an Autumnal album.
posted by maupuia at 11:21 PM on October 6, 2019

Came to say the Mountain Goats' Get Lonely, glad to see it's already represented.

Also Sermon on the Rocks by Josh Ritter.
posted by fairlynearlyready at 11:26 PM on October 6, 2019

kd lang's Hymns of the 49th Parallel
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 3:05 AM on October 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

Dave Brubeck, Indian Summer
posted by j810c at 6:41 AM on October 7, 2019

Jayhawks - Hollywood Town Hall
Gordon Lightfoot - Lightfoot!
posted by Bron at 7:49 AM on October 7, 2019

Doug Paisley, Strong Feelings or Constant Companion
posted by aka burlap at 9:01 AM on October 7, 2019

Radiohead - Amnesiac
Portishead - Third
Tricky - Maxinquaye
posted by kbbbo at 10:26 AM on October 7, 2019

Bob Mould - Workbook
posted by mollweide at 1:18 PM on October 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

Tom Waits - Mule Variations
posted by lyssabee at 3:50 PM on October 7, 2019

Thank you everyone!
posted by sallybrown at 5:58 PM on October 7, 2019

Another suggestion: Maybe Pink Moon by Nick Drake?
posted by codacorolla at 8:12 AM on October 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

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