Fall Playlist 2017

It's always a joy to dive into playlist mode each season. I spend far too much time figuring out how to arrange these tracks on Spotify, but the little quarterly capsules that result are always a pleasing way to mark the time. Sometimes I think I rely more on music than pictures for memories these days.

This may be the first year I've strayed from my old standbys -- especially the ones liable to come out in fall (The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, etc.) There's are lots of new bands here, but as usual I've fallen in love with the songs individually, rather than judging them on an album-by-album basis.

Amongst my standard uplifting pop-rock tracks, I have tunes from The 1975 (not sure I fully like their sound, but I can't resist that background guitar...), Air Traffic Controller (LOVING), MisterWives (best lyrics), and a brilliant Stevie Nicks cover by The Wind & The Wave. Another worthwhile cover I unearthed just a few days before completing this list is Branches' take on The Darkness' hit "I Believe in a Thing Called Love." That banjo, though!

A coffee shop pulled Ra Ra Riot from the archives of my mind, and it was really exciting to discover "Valerie" again. It occurred to me that this was the track I was actually looking for when I settled for Mika's "Emily" for my playlist last fall. It's provoked me to wonder how many pop songs involve men earnestly howling the names of problematic women into the universe.

Will winter finally bring some chiller songs my way? Lately all I've been interested in are these hand-clapping, foot-stomping, folksy romps. The Oh Hellos track is liable to carry me straight through to Christmas in a state of hippie-happy oblivion. I think I'm content with that.

Happy fall, folks.

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