September marks the end of the beast of summer and the gradual transition into autumn, in theory at least (not quite there in Texas, yet). However, that doesn’t mean we can’t stay optimistic and think cool thoughts. This September 2013 playlist is geared to help you do just that–be cool even if the weather’s not. I focused on great lyrics, slower tempos, and flowy melodies–or at least that’s what I tell myself.
Things start off with one of the best songwriters around, Laura Veirs‘ “America,” which embodies my notion of September perfectly. “The cart has come unhitched from the horse in America/Down the hill and off the course of America/Founding fathers roll in their graves in Amerca/In America…” Just listen, America–you’ll cry a bald eagle. Staying on the geography course, we have “Amsterdam” by V/V, who also has some fantastic lyrics. I love this track because of its mix of prominent vocals and synth-loving backing, it’s just great. The last of the geography trio is “Berlin” by RY X, who has one of the most beautiful male-sung vocal performances I’ve heard in a long time, like Bon Iver good. “Berlin” is a powerful track, perfect for reading a book by a fire.
I realize those first three songs were pretty slow and powerful, so let’s pick it up a bit, shall we? Half Moon Run is the perfect band to do just that with “Call Me in the Afternoon.” The instrumentation is fantastic and I love how the vocals keep you wanting more. If there’s a song that leaves you on the edge of your seat, this is it-t-t-t-t. Staying on the upbeat track, Satellite Stories‘ “Campfire” keeps that train going down the track with thumping bass beats and an upbeat chorus that works as well for the summer as the fall.
High Hazels comes up next, and in “Hearts are Beaking” they showcase that echoing vocal and garage guitar sound that we couldn’t get enough of during the summer playlists. Cults follows with “High Road” and continues the longing echo sounds of summer, and does it really well. Shearwater has similar echoing vocals/guitars in their XIU XIU COVER “I Luv the Valley OH!” Now, there was a time in my life when I could tolerate Xiu Xiu about 7 years ago. If I listen to Xiu Xiu now I’m looking for the nearest spoon to eat my own eyeballs, it’s just torturous. I gave this cover a shot, and it was worth it. Well done, guys.
Now the obligatory electronic-heavy portion of the playlist, starting with The Chain Gang of 1974. I really love this song, “Miko,” because the chorus is just so great, and they always cut it off to droning vocals and synth stylings. It’s a tease of a song, and I just can’t get enough. The following song is by Atlas Genius, and I’m sure the cool kids will give me flack for including this song on there, but I don’t care. “Trojans in my Head” is a good song, despite that its sort of overplayed–but that’s because it’s a good song. Get over it.
Me Like Bees is next with their performance of “Pneumonia,” which consists of going outside in the winter with wet hair; it’s all the rage. They have a bit of an Isaac Brock sort of thing going on, but in their own way. The next song, “Pretty Green,” by White Denim starts off with the exact same notes as the start of that Eminem song that was in 8 Mile, but played slightly different. Or maybe I’m dreaming things? This song rules, whether or not I’m right. Lastly, we have Geographer (who probably should have been included in the first 3 “geography” bunch, oh well) who rounds out the playlist with lovely strings and a full, rich sound. Fantastic.