Fall Mixtape – What we’re listening to
What different people listen to often relates to the mood they are in. Cord Arts & Life compiled the albums we have been listening to this fall season
Phantom Radio — Mark Lanegan Band
Mark Lanegan is one of the strongest male vocalists of the past 25 years. Comparable to the bellowing voice of Tom Waits, Lanegan has undergone his own musical revolution since his time as the vocalist for the psychedelic grunge project Screaming Trees.
He continues his strong performance on Phantom Radio, following in the direction of 2012’s Blues Funeral. On tracks like “The Killing Season” — with the blues-hinged electronic beats coupled by his enigmatic baritone voice — Lanegan exhibits his strong vocal abilities through heart-bled moments like “smelling the incense of the perfume of your blood/smelling the incense of the perfume of my drug.” The album itself is not a time-consuming experience — it’s running time is under 40 minutes — but the momentum Lanegan delivers within an hour will leave listeners feeling the ardent personality from a man continuing his musical legacy into a different era.
Hozier — Hozier
After the success of his hit single “Take Me to Church,” Andrew Hozier-Byrne, simply known as Hozier, recently released his first full-length, self-titled album and I can’t get enough of it. If you thought “Take Me to Church” was good, I strongly recommend you check out the full album.
Hozier incorporates blues, rock and folk, while also maintaining the raw, dark feel that we got out of the first single. To contrast that, the track “Someone New” is fun and playful, while “In a Week” featuring Karen Cowley — who is also amazing — is soft and sleepy.
For a first album, Hozier delivered fifteen tracks proving his versatility as both a guitarist and a vocalist. I’ve always been into soft rock and I find I’m drawn to it way more around midterm season when I can pair my music with study notes and a latte. –Bethany Bowles
Keep your Friends Close — Dylan Owen
This release dates back to 2012, when rapper Dylan Owen was, much like myself, going through the grind of post-secondary schooling.
It’s a relatable collection of songs for me because he charts out the side of university life that didn’t come with the admissions letter. Nobody tells you that while you’re struggling to keep up with lectures, midterms and extracurriculars, it’s your personal life that can really leave you out of breath sometimes. Owen touches on the challenges of trying our best when it comes to friendships and relationships, even when everything doesn’t quite fall into place sometimes.
With subtle production that will strike you as a little melancholic at times, lyrics in songs like “Ghosts” and “Lonely Mexico” have Owen, like a lot of us, confronting past regrets as he looks ahead on university life. I couldn’t ask for more from my sound track to the fall 2014 semester.
I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One — Yo La Tengo
Yo La Tengo strikes a perfect balance of elation and sedation on their eighth studio album. Fuzzed-out jams like “Sugarcube” and “Little Honda” are fit for a night time joyride, while tranquil cuts like “Shadows and Damage” make for the ideal backdrop to a night in with that special someone. It’s a make out album unlike any other. At the middle is “Autumn Sweater,” a soft ballad of romance and insecurity, but with certain warmth that draws in the listener. It’s a cozy song, just like your favorite fall sweater. If stargazing or reassessing your life at 3 a.m. is among your favourite pastimes, look no further than “Green Arrow.” The lulling guitar duet will swoon you to sleep or sadness — it really depends on the context. The record ends off with the adorable “My Little Corner of the World,” a song that recalls the longing for simplicity in love and a true embodiment of the album. So wherever your autumn nights may take you, I Can Hear won’t have any trouble keeping up.
Vibes — Theophilus London
Coming straight out of Brooklyn, Theophilus London is back from his small hiatus with a full-length album, executivly produced by none other than Kanye West. The coolest thing about this album is the songs all follow a certain vibe, as explained in the LP’s title. Even though most people would categorize London as a rapper, he isn’t exactly rapper almighty on this one. He mixes in some soft melodies and infectious hooks making it a much better project than anything he’s done previously.
Despite its cohesive vibes, this LP has a little something for everyone. High tempo electro cuts like “Tribe” and “Heartbreaker” make the album seem like it could be played in BETA on Saturday while more rap-esque tracks like “Can’t Stop” and “Do Girls” would be Phil’s Wednesday material. Rest assured that after listening to this album, you will catch some serious vibes.