Our Swords---Band of Horses***
We open our Falling Leaves playlist with this beauteous rumble, rolling along gracefully on top of a forthright baseline, and subdued, evening-time magic.
2. Earthforms---Matthew Dear
From subtle earnestness to the seediest guy on the dance floor, Earthforms is the standout track off of Dear's 2012 effort, Beams, building and swirling around a filthy, irrepressable groove.
3. Feels Like We Only Go Backwards---Tame Impala***
Bass lines again take president in this 60's-pop-riffing gem, woozy guitar fiddling and plain-spoken vocal yearning giving way to a sublime background jam session right around the two-minute mark.
& It Was U---How to Dress Well
Tom Krell's HtDW project isn't often upbeat in nature, which makes this 3+ minute blast of Jacko-infused R&B that much more elating, its rippling beat and piercing falsetto difficult to deny.
5. Blue Bloods---Foals
The opening few notes of BB seem to echo in a vast, limitless space, a chasm that the Oxford boys then fill all the way past the brim with funky undercurrents, sky-scaping vocals, and gorgeous mayhem.
6. Poetic Justice---Kendrick Lamar feat. Drake
Lamar has one of the most varied, singular flows of anybody on the scene, and PJ perfectly frames his ability to instantaneously change cadences and offer true-to-life sentiments with equal aplomb.
Yes, I Know---Daphni***
We may never know what the endlessly looping line, "Yes, I know; she told me so," refers to, but given the ecstatic, enormous, brass-sampling track it floats around, I'm guess it's good news.
8. Out Getting Ribs---Zoo Kid
OGR is a bare-bones production, nothing more than Archie Marshall's slacker mumblings, and one of the most evocative guitar lines imaginable, noodling along into glowing oblivion.
9. Ego---Burial+Four Tet+Thom Yorke
An all-star assemblage of some of the most accomplished trance-inducers in all the land, Ego is a dancy, dark, and psychedelic all at once, Yorke's ghostly croon stretching out over the tune's brooding pulse.
10. Jerome---Lykke Li***
A powerhouse track of the, 'doomed romance,' variety, Jerome's thunderous percussion lines fire off like cannons beneath Li's tormented harmonizing.
11. Radio Ballet---Eluvium
From a couple tracks wrought with tension to a shimmering beauty of unfettered loveliness, RB consists of nothing more than a piano, ascending to enveloping, luminescent heights.
12. Running---Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie xx
Who would have thought that neon beats and Scott-Heron's father-time ramblings would make for such a pairing? Running's current runs bone-deep, all while its philosophies tickle the mind.
13. White Magic---ceo
WM is a multi-faceted journey of a track all in 4-and-a-half minutes, churning furiously through its blustery opening half before busting open into technicolor relief.
A gritty, poignantly unpolished lament, Erika M. Anderson's voice aches with loss and desperation, smokily swaying before turning into a growling rasp, and scaling back down into a gentle hush.
Henrietta is a story of two halves, opening to a boisterous, skittering electro beat before spending act two on billowing clouds of synth, all powered by one monster of a bass line.
16. When I'm Small---Phantogram
A nightclub bounce lent mysterious allure by vocalist Sarah Barthel's breathy, dynamic turn, all wrapped tightly in a record player's fuzzy hiss.
17. Pink Matter---Frank Ocean feat. Andre 3000
One of Ocean's most dynamic, explosive vocal performances to date (and that's already saying something), PM lets the troubadour's voice soar, then gets out of the way for one hell of a guest verse by Andre himself.
So Long You Pretty Thing---Spiritualized***
The go-for-broke finale on an album built almost entirely on the very same principle, Jason Pierce's small, personal plea unravels into an enormous, cathartic climax.