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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Hype Starts Here's Fall 2015 Playlist

        Hello, and welcome to Hype Starts Here's Fall 2015 Playlist, a 33-pack of tracks eager to serenade you on rainy walks with falling leaves abounding. Because I am apparently stuck in the year 2005, the songs here have assembled as a double-disc, each made to fit on an old-fashioned blank CD (see: shy of 80 minutes). Brief descriptions of each tune can be found below, while the Spotify playlist is just a click away. Enjoy:

Disc 1:
1. Sound and Color---Alabama Shakes***
        A lovely, autumnal hymn that brings out the soft side of vocalist Brittany Howard's stereotypically power-house bellow, this one's been on repeat for me ever since its masterful use in the season finally of Mr. Robot... because I'm sure that matters to you.

2. Haunted Heart---Little Hurricane
        A gritty, fleet-of-foot little ditty that gains muscle from a killer guitar riff, all distorted and echoing over the song's cavernous sonics.

3. The Fall---Rhye
        Yeah, kind of cute to pick a song with the season in the title, but The Fall bares its name for a reason, its mellow sway perfectly capturing the November's down-tempo identity.

4. Retrograde---James Blake***
        A mysterious epic with a rare tryptic structure that encapsulates both the hope and fear that make Blake's music so singular and indelible. 

5. I Got Money---Raekwon feat. ASAP Rocky
        22 years after the world first met him on 36 Chambers, the Chef still has no problems throwing it down. S1 and Jerry Wonda's luscious beat doesn't exactly hurt either.

6. Depreston---Courtney Barnett***
        On an album full of songs that ride the line between parody and earnestness, Depreston stands out for it's storytelling, emotional complexity, and warm, breezy sound.

7. Getaway---Dr. John
        Who says a 70-year-old can't still come out guns blazing? A highlight from his 2012 release, Locked Down, the New Orleans native delivers a moody ass kicking, all spunk and fire.

8. Armchairs---Andrew Bird
        The oldest song on this playlist, this languid ballad remains one of the highlights of Andrew Bird's career, slowly sauntering it's way into emotional enormity.

9. Jonathan---Fiona Apple***
        No one is better at marrying admiration with spite through their songwriting than Fiona Apple, and here she's at it again, singing of a (presumably) doomed romance atop misty atmospherics.
10. Oblivion---Grimes
        Speaking of atmospherics, Oblivion stands as one of the most uniquely haunting pieces of songwriting you're likely to ever hear, its words and electronic pulse constantly caught between fear and fascination.

11. Two Coffins---Against Me!***
        The lone track on Transgender Dysphoria Blues that decides to turn the volume down is gorgeous and lovelorn, a sublimely teary-eyed 2:20.

12. Annie---Neon Indian
        Awash in a sea of undulating synthesizers and funkiness, Alan Palomo's pleas for affection from the titular Annie come off more as playful and bright than desperate and lonely.

13. Silent Song---Daniel Rossen
        One half of the two-headed eerie songwriting machine that is Grizzly Bear, this stand-out mishmash of acoustic and slide guitars comes from Rossen's painfully overlooked 2012 EP Silent Hour/Golden Mile.

14. The Won't See Me---The Field
        The Field always boast of a contemplative sound, but the music of Axel Willner is rarely as foreboding as on this gloomily powerful, 9-minute monster.

15. Point of No Return---Surfer Blood***
        One of the best impressions of The Smiths that you could ask for, John Paul Pitts' open, inviting intonation plays party guest in one of this playlists most contented tracks.

16. And That's All I Know---Kevin Drew
        The closer to Drew's last LP, Darlings, might make you wait for it, but by the time the Broken Social Scene luminary's voice lifts, and the track bursts into kaleidoscopic colors, you won't mind.

17. Somewhere Tonight---Beach House
        Though they rarely use the form, Beach House is often at their strongest while playing a waltz, and Somewhere Tonight is no exception, all wine and roses underpinned by an organ whose sharp notes tell a different story.

Disc 2:
1. Byegone---Volcano Choir***
        We know Bon Iver's Justin Vernon primarily for his aching falsetto, but something magical happens when he drops that voice several octaves, and really lets it rip.

2. Wake Up Your Saints---The National
        Horns have become a mainstay of The National's arsenal, but using them to paint a tune with blustery, haphazard joy is wholly unique to this cut from the extended edition of their 2010 masterpiece High Violet.

3. No Rest for the Wicked---Lykke Li
        Heartbreak is rarely more cinematic than it was on Li's latest disc, I Never Learn, and No Rest captures the bombastic and saturated feelings of lost love to a tee.

4. Low Key---Tweedy***
        Never has a song been more aptly titled than this one, a cozy, honey-dipped morsel about understanding the vital differences in how people express themselves.

5. Gabby---The Internet feat. Janelle Monae
        I still struggle to believe that anything this sensual and laid-back could have ever derived from the Odd Future camp, but Syd tha Kyd is the real deal, as is the jazzy, R&B band that stands behind her.

6. Weight of Love---The Black Keys
        A textbook example of how to build a song out of near nothingness and turn it into a tsunami, Weight of Love escapes the blue-tinted haze of its opening passages, and comes down like a thunder storm.

7. Do You---Spoon***
        "Someone get popsicles/Someone do something about this heat" almost couldn't be more ill-fitting if it tried; this is a track set as the blazing sun has finally decided to set, with a brilliant orange lighting up the sky.

8. Baby Blue---Action Bronson feat Chance the Rapper
        Baby Blue only gets better as it goes along, Bronson's silly sing-rap guiding us to Chance's zippy, funny, and honest verse, all played out by trumpets that almost massage the ears.

9. London Thunder---Foals
        Foals can do 'big' about as well as any band working today, which is what makes London Thunder so special; it gets there without hardly raising its voice, shedding new light on the band's world-conquering aesthetic.

10. An Ocean Between the Waves---The War on Drugs***
        Another big, bustling rock tune, The War on Drugs embrace their inner Tom Petty (or is it outer at this point?), slowly revving up the MPH until all that's left is a welcome onslaught of guitar solos.

11. Towers---Bon Iver
        So different from the aforementioned Justin Vernon song that you'd be forgiven for believing it to be a different vocalist all together, Towers is rife with feeling, and resplendent in sound.

12. Someone Great---LCD Soundsystem
        Some say it's about death, and others about love, but one thing's for certain; Someone Great is an incredibly poignant encapsulation of loss, sporting an intricate backdrop that keeps listeners' hands right next to the repeat button.

13. I Don't Want Love---The Antlers***
        A bitter kiss-off presented in glittering gloriousness by The Antlers, this is an anti-romance anthem for the ages.

14. Neptune Estate---King Krule
        Neptune Estate is like nothing else on this planet, a loopy, spacious offering that flaunts an unthinkably unique structure just below Archie Marshall's singularly gravely croon.

15. Taro---Alt-J
        The first Alt-J disc was full of moments that swapped out steady tension for cathartic release, but none more so than Taro, stings and lungs howling together as the song bursts wide open.

16. Goldtone---Kurt Vile***
        Clocking in at 10:26, Goldtone is almost more of an experience than a proper song, undulating from one movement to the next, shimmering with staggering beauty all the while.

 ***Pictured Artist

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