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Fall Alternative Records

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Joel Milton

Music Journalist

As the days keep passing us by, the fall is quickly creeping up. Shorter, crisper days with leaves turning from a healthy, hearty green to a crumbly, lifeless brown call for some appropriately somber albums to listen to as the days get darker and the skies get cloudier. So, while you wander the greying streets with only jack-o’-lanterns outside homes and the orange glow from their windows to light the way, put on these five alternative records to set the mood.

The pastel painting of a football player under the static-looking album title, DSU, puts the listener in a dreamy state, hence the long-format name of the record, Dream State University. The mismatched colors blend together nicely to create a blissful ambiance for the album.
Alex G – DSU cover / Alex G

Alex G: DSU

Very few artists can create the same warm atmosphere using such a diverse spread of sounds from song to song as Alex G does on his fifth studio album, DSU. Following suit of one potential name for the record, Dream State, the variation of moody, effect-drenched guitar tones in every track alongside otherwise soft, downtempo, saturnine instrumentals gives the album a dreamy aura. The arrangement of DSU is quite simple yet creates a rich, comfortable listening experience that accompanies the changing of the season fittingly.

Duster: Stratosphere

The 90s Northern California slowcore band, Duster, released what could very well be the most influential record of the genre in 1998 when they released Stratosphere. This album is chock-full of angsty, phased lead guitar lines and soft, enigmatic lyrics that fill you with apathy and make you want to kick a rock down an empty road for miles. The rolling cascade of gloom and beauty that this record fills the atmosphere with will make you feel like you’re floating through the chilly air right into autumn.

Each rectangle on the cover for this record reflects the album in its’ entirety: separate but unified. The art on the cover very well exemplifies the art that is its music and how it is built inside the frames of the artist’s convention.
Pinegrove – Everything So Far Cover / Pinegrove

 

Pinegrove: Everything So Far

Everything So Far is an album that beautifully communicates the notions of peace and pleasance. There is a vast collection of details in this record that allows it to encompass you in bliss: the subtle shake in Evan Stephens Hall’s smooth voice, the charming jangle of a banjo, or the especially metallic sound of strumming strings. Tracks like “Need 2” and “New Friends” display how the tranquil ambiance created in this record can be achieved in distinctive styles with different sounds.

The Unicorns: Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone?

With fall quickly approaching, Halloween begins lurking right around the corner. The quirky lyrics sung by Nicholas Thorburn throughout the record frequently involve bizarre and questionably spooky themes, like freezing to death in the sea or being born as a unicorn, but in a playful, high-energy, excitable way that only could be accomplished by The Unicorn’s eccentric brilliance. Listening to the funk-filled, spooky synth melodies and looming bass lines featured prominently in “Tuff Ghost” and “I Don’t Wanna Die” will have no trouble getting you in the Halloween spirit with an indie-rock twang.

Haley Heynderickx:  I Need to Start a Garden

For some of us, the fall months tend to put us in glum moods as we get used to the gloomy-skied days of the year; Hayley Heynderickx’s 2018 debut album, I Need to Start a Garden, is a great comfort to those moods as it closely resembles some of those melancholic feelings that can come along with the season. The album’s lyrical connections to the feelings of isolation and solitude are only made stronger upon recognizing that the solo singer-songwriter’s voice and acoustic guitar plucking are the focus of the album.

Written by: Jordan Young

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