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10 Introspective Albums to Listen to While You Light Your Pumpkin Spice Candles

October 17, 2020

Isn’t it funny how we can go from blasting Cardi B and The Chainsmokers (JK on the latter) on Labor Day weekend to suddenly going solemn three weeks later? Yeah, Invasion of Privacy isn’t exactly up there with albums that feel like fall.

But anyway, when the leaves are turning and the sun’s no longer burning, music just feels different. While pool parties and backyard BBQs full of bass are surely a good time, nothing compares to cozying up with hot coffee in sweats to the sounds of moody music and the scents of pumpkin spice.

If you’re on the hunt for songs that will elicit your emotions during this time of year, keep reading for 10 introspective albums that feel like fall.

a couple walks through leaves in the woods or forest
(via Unsplash)

1. Strange Tales – Lord Huron

Strange Tales is here for all your dreamy folk desires. On the 14-song album, dark topics, including death, are intertwined with breathtaking melodies, making this melancholy collection slightly easier to digest.

2. Thank You for Today – Death Cab for Cutie

Everything about Death Cab epitomizes fall vibes, but since Plans’ iconic 2005 release, none of the band’s albums spoke to the magic of the season until 2018’s Thank You for Today. It most closely resembles the aforementioned—after all, there’s even a song called Autumn Love. Need we say more?

3. Strange Pleasures – Still Corners

If you’re going for a dreamy, ethereal vibe, this album will speak to you. Light and luminous, it’s the perfect background music for your next pumpkin carving picnic or fall-themed dinner party.

4. Nocturne – Wild Nothing

This is without question one of the best indie albums of all time. Each song is filled with beautiful, serene melodies without tearing us apart. It’s hopeful, light and timeless—and while we most classify it with fall, it’s truly suitable year-round.

5. Goddess (Deluxe) – Banks

We’re not quite sure what happened to Banks after releasing her insanely promising debut—but either way, Goddess disrupted what we considered pop norms. Her music began to define the new “alternative,” and the melodies from this album are dark as a crisp fall night.

6. Bon Iver – Bon Iver

If you want to transport your mind to an enchanted forest in the middle of nowhere, one listen to anything on this 10-track album will do just the trick. The cohesive selection of songs flow effortlessly, taking you on a spiritual journey from start to finish. And once you’re done, you can step back a few years and listen to 2008’s For Emma, Forever Ago, which, thankfully sounds every bit the same as the aforementioned.

7. Cruel Intentions Original Soundtrack – Various Artists

Much like the provocative, dark ’90s film, its alluring soundtrack still holds up today, and each track evokes curiosity and mystique. To this day, not a film or accompanying soundtrack has done what Cruel Intentions has. Both beautiful and melancholy, every song from start to finish will make you feel something.

8. Fumbling Towards Ecstasy – Sarah McLachlan

If you’re a child of the ’90s you know the massive impact Sarah McLachlan had on music. The Lilith Fair cofounder was a pioneer of making thoughtful albums that, yes, feel like fall. Her 1997 album Surfacing garnered huge mainstream success, but 1993’s lesser known Fumbling Towards Ecstasy resonates with us in a deeper way.

9. Shore – Fleet Foxes

Don’t let the title of Fleet Foxes’ new album fool you—there are no beachy vibes to found on this 15-song selection of folk-rock melodies. But that doesn’t mean they’re not uplifting. If you’re looking for a serene album with a light tone, this is your best bet.

10. Badlands (Deluxe) – Halsey

Halsey has always maintained her disposition as an angsty, brooding artist. But just on the brink of mainstream fame, she released Badlands, a raw, organic look into past relationships and mental health struggles. With no collaborations or buzzy production credits, this melancholic selection of thought-provoking tracks is not only the singer at her finest, but the closest thing to fall-sounding pop out there.

 

Now that you have plenty of albums that feel like fall, mix things up with THIS playlist of best songs from artists at Coachella 2017!

Music

Carly Rae Jepsen, Chet Faker, Banks, YG & More: New Music Monday!

August 3, 2015

carly-rae-jepsen-warm-blood-skyelyfeCarly Rae Jepsen is on a roll!

Her new releases continue to be totally on point, as she proves with last month’s “Run Away with Me,” and now her latest, “Warm Blood,” which is a little dark and mysterious while still providing one of her catchy signature hooks. It’s the perfect kickoff to this week’s New Music Monday selection. Her latest are set to appear on her third studio album “Emotion.”

And while on the subject of pop, check out the DJ Mustard-produced “Sorry to Interrupt,” by Jessie J, Jhene Aiko and Rixton. RAC and Madi Diaz‘s happy-go-lucky “Falling Hard” will make you smile, and Kate Boy‘s “Midnight Sun” will make you dance. And YG‘s “Twist My Fingaz” reminds me of that classic west coast rap sound from the ’90s.

Otherwise, this week’s playlist is mostly mellow. Chet Faker and Banks make an excellent team on their “1998” collaboration, while Teen Daze‘s “Along” is perfect little jam for winding down your day, and Cannons‘ “Body Talk” is slow and sexy.

Check out the entire playlist of 12 songs (which also includes Gardens & Villa, Peking Duk, SAFIA, Coyote Kisses and Karman Line) below:

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Music

Skyelyfe’s Best & Worst of Music in 2014

November 15, 2014

BreezySome folks may beg to differ, but I’m just going to say it (in my own humble opinion, of course): 2014 was the most unsatisfying year in pop music that I can remember. Ok, Taylor Swift came through in the clutch at the end of the year with an album that took the world by storm. And there’s no denying that Ariana Grande is a cutie who can sing (even though her music doesn’t personally appeal to me). Obviously Sam Smith‘s music has a way with the ladies. And I have nothing but love for Tove Lo and Banks. But aside from that, hardly anything on the radio except for Chris Brown (despite his personal woes) resonated with me this year.

In the past, I could at least depend on a good hook in a commercial rap song to get me by, but even the so-called “hip-hop” this year was beyond laughable. Not only did every song sound the same, but I seriously can’t keep up with who anyone is or what gimmicky nonsense they’re talking about anymore. I mean, even Drake, who usually never lets me down, had me scratching my head in 2014.

That said, this is why I turn more and more to alternative avenues to find good music. From MØ‘s No Mythologies to Follow, to Tensnake‘s Glow, among many others, the year did indeed produce sounds that were rewarding to the ears.

Here is skyelyfe’s favorite and least favorite music in 2014:

10 LEAST FAVORITE SONGS (in order):

1. “Anaconda” – Nicki Minaj

2. “Rude” – Magic!

3. “All About That Bass” – Meghan Trainor

4. “Talk Dirty” – Jason Derulo

5. “Wiggle” – Jason Derulo feat. Snoop Dogg

6. “Don’t Tell ‘Em” – Jeremih feat. YG

7. “Problem” – Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea

8. “Black Widow” – Iggy Azalea feat. Rita Ora

9. “Show Me” – Kid Ink feat. Chris Brown

10. “Happy” – Pharrell Williams

10 FAVORITE SONGS (in order):

1. “Slow Love” – MØ

2. “Love Sublime” – Tensnake feat. Nile Rodgers & Fiora

3. “Loyal” – Chris Brown feat. Lil Wayne & Tyga

4. “Main Chick” – Chris Brown feat. Kid Ink

5. “Busy Baby” – Tomas Barfod feat. Nina K

6. “All of You” – Betty Who

7. “Diamonds” – Lane 8 feat. Solomon Grey

8. “Bullet Train” – Gardens & Villa

9. “Self Control” – Kate Boy

10. “Dreaming” – The Knocks

15 FAVORITE ALBUMS (in order)

1. No Mythologies to FollowMØ

2. GlowTensnake

3. X (Deluxe Version)Chris Brown

4. BlondeGhost Beach

5. GoddessBanks

6. Queen of the CloudsTove Lo

7. Dunes – Gardens & Villa

8. Awake – Tycho

9. SinglesFuture Islands

10. Noise vs. Beauty Bassnectar

11. Take Me When You GoBetty Who

12. PolyphonyLogistics

13. Strangers, Part IIRAC

14. Nabuma RubberbandLittle Dragon

15. Down to EarthFlight Facilities

5 FAVORITE LIVE SHOWS OR ACTS (in order)

1. Cut Copy @ Lollapalooza in Chicago

2. DWNTWN/ASTR/The Knocks @ The Echo in L.A.

3. RAC/The Knocks (Something Classic Tour) @ The Fonda Theatre in L.A.

4. Robyn & Royksopp (Do It Again Tour) @ The Hollywood Bowl in L.A.

5. Future Islands @ Coachella in Indio, CA

While you anticipate what’s musically in store for 2015, here’s a playlist of my top 50 tracks of the year (in no particular order):

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Music

Need the Perfect Fall Party Playlist? Here Are 50 Songs That Will Be Playing at Mine!

October 18, 2014

A fall party playlist is nothing to be taken lightly! Next to the obligatory carved pumpkins and generous supply of booze, the perfect selection of songs is top priority. As with any gathering, there is a certain vibe to achieve, so for this little fete (I’m excitedly hosting my annual one this evening), the rap and dance will be brushed to the side for slow (Banks, Washed Out, Miike Snow) and sexy (Crazy P, , Lane 8). But a host must remember two things: It’s not winter just yet (so no Bon Iver unfortunately) and you don’t want your guests to fall asleep, so the music still has to be somewhat upbeat.

Below is the full list of what I will be playing tonight. I’m always open to fun suggestions, so feel free to chime in!

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Music Featured

4 New Full-Length Albums You Must Hear … NOW

September 20, 2014

Let’s be honest – the words “music” and “quality” don’t go hand-in-hand these days. And when a good song finally does come along, it seems to only be off a two or three-track EP. Why is it so hard to find full compilations of good (even decent) music today? It took some effort, but I managed to come up with a list of four new full-length albums that I actually want to hear on repeat. Check them out below:

BanksGoddess: Banks has been on the radar of critics this past year with the release of two EPs –Fall Over and London – and now with the debut of her first studio album Goddess, her star can only rise from here. Not only does she exhibit flawless vocal talent, but her effortless signature sexy, dark sound and thought-provoking lyrics set her aside from other pop artists. Unlike many current acts, the singer, also known as Jillian Banks, enlisted the production efforts of lesser-known artists (including a favorite of mine, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs) to compile a collection of perfection. Each track on Goddess is easy on the ears, but my three favorite are: “Alibi,” “Fuck Em Only We Know,” and “Warm Water.”

BanksGoddess

Chris BrownX (Deluxe Version): Despite his lawsuits, jail time and dysfunctional (understatement) relationships, Chris Brown is an artist to look upon highly if I am solely focused on his music. In a saturated era of hip-hop where every track is “[DJ] Mustard on that beat, ho,” it’s actually a breath of fresh air to hear from Brown on his latest album X. As he’s done in the past, the controversial crooner continues to set his style apart on each track from the same-sounding songs that fill our radio raves. Not to say X is free from explicit lines, but misogynistic lyrics take a backseat for the majority of the album, in exchange for many references to “making love.” And while I don’t actually take any of his sweet-talking sonnets seriously, Brown shines on “Time for Love,” “Lost in Ya Love” – and yes, even the much less romantic radio hit “Loyal,” which happens to be my favorite on the album.

ChrisBrownX

Porter Robinson Worlds: Taking a step back from the bass-heavy hits that made up Porter Robinson’s 2011 Spitfire, the 22-year-old’s latest effort Worlds is surprisingly (and thankfully) a 12-track compilation of melodic bliss, with some vocal assistance from Lemaitre, Imaginary Cities and Urban Cone. Gaining inspiration this time around from video games and Japanese culture, the electronic music producer, who has said he’s a big fan of going a softer direction, stands out with “Sad Machine,” “Years of War,” and “Lionhearted.”

PorterRobinson

VariousAnjunadeep 06: With fall upon us, Anjunadeep 06 couldn’t have come out at a better time. For those unfamiliar, these regularly released compilations of the newer generation of trance and deep house are brought to you by Above & Beyond‘s London-based label. This collection in particular – which especially shines with Cubicolor‘s “Got This Feeling,” 16 Bit Lolitas‘ “Premuim Emo,” and Lane8‘s “Diamonds” – is perfect for the new season. The songs are soothing and sexy, fitting for background music at a party, or even just getting ready for a night out in the cold weather.

Anjunadeep

*Each of these albums is available on Spotify