Wednesday, October 14, 2009

warding off the cold with sweetheart autumn jams


I don't know about you but round here the leaves are turned all shades of red and seem about ready to plunge to earth. The nights are getting colder, the wind is starting to bite and the sun isn't doing much of that warming thing we like so well. I guess once the leaves fall and we can go crunching through them hand in hand, then we'll have something good to report. Until then how about some perfectly autumnal songs to warm our hearts and extremities.

Safe Home - "Me & the Bees"
I know of no song more qualified to raise lowered temperatures just enough to gently melt the oncoming frost than the Softies' "Me & the Bees" and this cover by Safe Home (who used to be half of the Nightblooms) almost, almost, almost tops the original.

The Young Tradition - "California Morning"
This stunningly rich and toasty warm song is heated up by liberal use of 12-string guitars and the sweet vocals of Brent Kenji (who was in the much-missed Fairways.) Dude could sing just about anything and make it sound like birds and angels and stuff, when he has a tune this good it's pretty magical.

The Orange Peels - "California Blue"
I guess the cold has me longing for someplace warm like California. Or at least a track that sounds like the early 2000's US equivalent of Prefab Sprout or the Trashcan Sinatras. This record it comes from (Circling the Sun) is probably the highlight of Allen Clapp's long career as an indie popper. He's done plenty of cool stuff so that means it's a good, good record.

The Autumn Defense - "The World (Will Soon Turn Our Way)"
The best defense against autumn is a good offense. Try swelling strings, the drums from "Everybody's Talking", a voice as inviting as that dude out of America who didn't sound like Neil Young, and heartstring-plucking vocal harmonies. (Man, you have to have vocal harmonies! Don't forget!!) If you do it all just right like these guys did, you just might make it, Cookie.

Richard Davies - "Stars"
He was one half of Cardinal, leader of the Moles, made some really fine solo albums for Sub Pop and Kindercore and now he's doing nothing as far as i can tell. Sucks big time - I miss you RD! This lovely song has the kind of chorus that makes your throat swell up a little the first time you hear it, so simple (just the word "stars" repeated over and over) but so powerful. Most of his stuff was a little off-kilter and for lack of a better word "psychedelic" (geez, I feel like a tool for having just said that...) but this cuts through the weirdness and kicks you in the heart.

Note: Songs not sold separately - Must be DL'd in a bunch here.