JOPLIN, Mo. —
With the passage of Labor Day, we’ve entered the fall season in spirit, if not in fact. The calendar says the fall season begins with the autumn equinox later this month, but considering we’re likely one generation away from an endless summer of scorched earth and heat death, I try to celebrate it as much as possible.
This is difficult, with my eyes swollen shut and my face burdened with 10 extra pounds of mucus thanks to a bumper crop of ragweed, but at least my ears are working.
Most weeks I tend to write about Top 40 pop music and new releases that fall under the broad rubric of “indie rock.”
While I enjoy that stuff immensely, it’s a small portion of what I listen to on my own time.
The fall tends to be when I zero in on a particular favorite, a category-less genre I consider “autumn listening” that tends to encompass folk, soul, country and pop. It’s mostly acoustic, but not exclusively, and mostly old, but not always.
Every year I make a mix of this personal genre that, for me, is like putting on a well-worn sweater.
Here are a few selections from the batch of songs I’ll be listening to this fall, which I’ll be adding to throughout the rest of the season.
Father John Misty: “Writing a Novel”
As far as fall albums go in 2012, there isn’t much better than former Fleet Foxes’ member J. Tillman’s “Fear Fun,” his latest solo folk album under his moniker Father John Misty. I was never a big Fleet Foxes fan, but Tillman’s jaunty, yet unhurried “Writing a Novel” is not only one of the standout tracks from “Fear Fun,” but also one of my favorite songs of the year.