Autumnal Stew

I love this time of year. I’m serious. I LOVE it. Sure, I question fall’s divinity every damned spring when I emerge from hibernation, but every fall hits me with its thin crisp air and simple traditions like I’m experiencing them for the first time. I feel alive again and every smell reminds me of something I don’t hate…something I actually want to remember. Fall may be summer’s Sunday; a bittersweet reminder of the shit weather that is heading our way, but it represents the end of a GREAT weekend. It’s a time filled with hoodies and long pants; hot soups and chili; pumpkin spice lattes and amazing walks through parks and neighborhoods.

And then there are the sounds. Brittle leaves and frost-covered grass aside, music plays as big a part in completing the experience as it does with any activity any time of the year. A particular song or album will bring me back as fast as the scent of a cool fall evening and for it I needn’t even leave my office.

Here are a few of the albums (in no particular order) that always seem to bring me back to this time of year, whether fall is actually upon us or I’m simply dreaming of low humidity at some point mid-July:

Ray LaMontagne – Till the Sun Turns Black

The Decemberists – The Crane Wife

Iron & Wine – The Shepherd’s Dog

The New Pornographers – Twin Cinema

Built to Spill – You in Reverse

Sufjan Stevens – Illinois

Devendra Banhart – Cripple Crow

The Shins – O, Inverted World

Throw in a healthy mix of Fleet Foxes and Simon & Garfunkel and you’ve got yourself one deliciously deciduous autumnal stew. Here’s to the most beautiful and refreshing time of year in this our beautiful slice of Americana that is Wisconsin in Fall.

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