The year was STILL 2009. That’s cause Volume 2 was released into the wild right alongside Volume 1. Companion feels. Heads and Tails on the same wonderful golden coin. Where 1 wallows into our melancholic thoughts, Volume 2 pulls us out of our heads and looks at all the gorgeous goodness ever-present in the autumn season.
This won’t be the last time I split the season into two mixes. In 2012 and 2015 (Volumes 4/5 and 8/9) I would again double the fun. You can easily spot these by looking for the ellipsis in the title. If it’s got the … then you know there is more to the conversation to counterbalance the universe. Autumn gives us all of the feelings but never lets us get too far down one rabbit trail without pulling us back the other way.
Volume 2 is all colors, sunlight, leaf-kicking, and leaning in to those good deep relationships. Since this mix was created for my Fall Festival friends it very much has all the elements that we include in that glorious annual tradition.
There is also quite a bit of finger plucked strings on this mix. There is something about that style of music that really feels right in the autumn. Like leaves plucking themselves off trees and the fluttering effect they have as they spin in the wind.
Enjoy this deep leaf pile dive into all the good stuff o’ the season!
Autumn This Year Volume 2: …But It’s Good So Good
Jake Armerding - Color You In (1999)
This is such a monumentally fantastic song that I’m pretty heartbroken it’s not more widely available. It’s not on the Spotify playlist (Yes, it is abso-mortifying for a mixologist to not have the chosen Track 1 be the first thing a listener hears! Arrggghhhhh!!!) BUT I have included it for your listening pleasure below. Jake Armerding! If you’re listening: get your music onto streaming services, STAT!
Anyhoo, I like to think of “Color You In” as Autumn’s serenade to us.
Steve Forbert - Autumn This Year (2004)
Crystal clearly I’m suuuuper indebted to Steve Forbert for this wonderful audio celebration (audiobration?) of all things autumn. Not only did I name this Anthology after his tune but also the titles of Volumes 1 and 2 are a line pulled from the song: “It’s bound to make you sadder but it’s good so good.” I feel like Steve absolutely gets the multifaceted feelings that coexist in the season and I love how he embraces all it’s complexity with such utter joy.
Mr. Forbert, if you’re ever in the area I’d love to buy you a beer or two and gab about autumn. (Just realized I’m talking directly to all the artists in this post…that’s weird).
Ron Sexsmith - Cold Hearted Wind (2006)
This song may be centered around that cold harsh wind that’s ablowin’ everywhere we look (literally and metaphorically). I do appreciate that Ron offers us the perfect solution to both the literal and metaphoric cold winds: relationships and love. Right?
David Gray - Babylon (1998)
Everything about this song makes me feel good. There is a definite need during these three months to turn off my head and just feel it…now. David gives us permission…for cryin’ out loud.
I also know from firsthand experience this is a great song to kick through the leaves to:
“Kicking through the autumn leaves and wondering where it is you might be going to.”
Damien Rice - Dogs (2006)
Synesthesia is a fascinating phenomenon. In one variant of it, a person will see or feel colors based on what music/sounds are being played. I am not someone who has synesthesia. BUT in super rare cases I have had the experience where I strongly feel a color while listening to music. This song is one of them for me. Every time it starts I see this rich swirly burst of oranges and yellows.
One other cool thing that happens to me every time I listen to this song: as Damien builds the bridge and comes out of it singing “and leaves me standing!” I get jelly wriggles up and down my spine. Every. Time.
This song affects me. And it feels like autumn sunlight.
Iron & Wine - Love and Some Verses (2004)
“Our Endless Numbered Days” was the album that put I&W on the map and is such an absolute feast of autumnal feelings. It was featured and discussed in one of my 3 Albums posts.
There’s something about weaving something in someone else’s hair that is very autumn. Ray LaMontagne’s track on Volume 1 also mentions this. It’s an activity that should definitely be done in September IMHO.
Nickel Creek - Tomorrow is a Long Time (2005)
This is a Bob Dylan tune and it is my absolute fave version of it ever. All those plucked strings feel like parachuting leaves. Sara Watkins delivers a powerfully yearning vocal. It kills me the way she sighs into the word: “waiting.”
“Yes and only if my one true love was waiting”
It’s an autumn A+ in my book.
Bob Dylan - Buckets of Rain (1975)
Annnnd in one of those fun little tracklisting Easter eggs that is only noticed or cool to myself: I pair a Dylan cover right next to a Dylan song. And this is SUCH a Dylan song. I love the guitar work and the wonderful turns of phrase that only could come from Dylan’s mind.
Interference - Gold (2007)
This magic little Irish tune was introduced to the world at the party scene in the movie Once. A group of folks gathered together and drinking, eating, singing, and enjoying one another’s company. It very much reminded me of my own fall gathering. And it doesn’t hurt that the tune has the feel of sunlight streaming down through yellow leaves.
“Tear your curtains down - for sunlight is like gold.”
Jaymay - Autumn Fallin’ (2007)
This song is positively adorable and though it’s heavy on the side of heartbreak there is an element of hope that makes it just right for this mix.
“And I believe it was you who I wanted to be walking next to
And I believe we were friends and I believe we will be again.”
Eisley - Trolley Wood (2005)
Autumn is THE time for walking in the woods. And finger snapping.
I am familiar with the magical experience of finding a place in the woods where you experience life so clearly… and then tragically never being able to find your way back to it. Or at least to the version of it that was so magical.
Side note: Find people in your life that make you spontaneously sing “Hallelujah!” when you are just out taking a walk in their presence.
Better Than Ezra - This Time of Year (1995)
“Well there’s a feeling in the air just like a Friday afternoon.”
This one hits a lot of nostalgic buttons from my growing up years. It really encapsulates the feeling of a school bell ringing on a Friday and that anticipation of having a pair of crisp fall days to hang out with your friends and go on some backroad adventures.
“Seems it’s always understood this time of year…”
Caedmon’s Call - Close of Autumn (1997)
It’s hard to deny the presence of something bigger than us during this season. Certainly it’s as if someone wants to get our attention in a very grand theatrical way. Though my personal thoughts on the divine have changed quite a bit since I put together this mix, I find it hard to argue with the premise of this tune:
“When my heart draws near to the close of autumn - Your love abounds.”
Speakeasy - Blue Skies and Jet Trails
This is another band that may be lost to digital history. My wife was friends with several of the members and I believe they were out of Colorado in the early oughts. Hopefully they won’t mind me keeping their lovely little tune alive below so that others can picture jet trails cutting across a crisp autumn-blue sky.
“Isn’t that the way with beauty - it hides till it desires to be seen.”
Bright Eyes - I Must Belong Somewhere (2007)
I really do feel most at home in this world during the autumn. And though I’d love to feel this way all year long I am incredibly thankful for the 3 months I’m given each trip around the sun.
“Leave the autumn leaves in the swimming pool. Everything MUST belong somewhere…”
Jon Foreman - Southbound Train (2007)
The second offering from Mr. Foreman’s Fall EP to appear in this Anthology. (See Volume 1 for his more melancholic tune). This song is sad but weirdly it’s sad in a comforting way. Like how change means things will never be the same but there’s a bit of hope in you that maybe they will be even better.
Trains will become a common theme that pop up quite a bit on these mixes. Something about a train off in the distance brings me back to this season in the best of ways.
Matthew Perryman Jones - Lead Me to the Waters (2000)
Another fantastic track that has seemingly been erased from the inter-world. (Listen below!). This one is packed with autumn adjacent things like porch swings, rain, and kettles.
But it’s the sentiment of being around your people that does it for me. The folks that draw you towards the good and make you feel at ease lands this tune solidly on this seasonal mix.
Matt Wertz - I Will Not Take My Love Away (2007)
This song was in my wedding and so it is obviously somewhat (re:extremely) meaningful to me. Autumn is such a time of change that we also need to be reminded that there are folks and things around that aren’t gonna split when the weather turns.
“I will not take my love away - When praises cease and seasons change…”
Alexi Murdoch - Orange Sky (2002)
What a beauty of a song. Like an autumn sunset setting the trees aglow. I like the symmetry of this mix being bookended in gorgeous warm colors.
I miss Alexi Murdoch. Where’d you go Alexi? We need you!
(Drat! There I go talking to the artists again!)
Seriously tho, Alexi…