8 great albums to listen to in the fall

Bon Iver – Bon Iver

Bon_Iver

Put this one on, and the mist practically seeps from the speakers, wet leaves begin to fall, and the nights draw in. It’s perfect for those times when you just want to look out the window and feel all melancholy and romantic. Key track for a playlist: Perth

The Cure – Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me / Disintegration

Kiss me

 

Disintegration

Two sides of autumn here. Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me is the fiery one, the brightly colored leaves, blue sky-cold days, sun setting on a Friday afternoon in all kinds of fire. Disintegration is for those days of cold, heavy rain, thick mist lingering in bare, sharpened trees, nights when rain pounds the roof and the windows. Key tracks for a playlist: The Kiss / How Beautiful You Are / Prayers For Rain / The Same Deep Water As You

Lamb – Between Darkness And Wonder

lamb

A gorgeous, softly electronic album that feels like raw, cold dusks after the sun has set but the sky is still smeared with orange and dark blue. Key tracks for a playlist: Stronger / Please

Kosheen – Resist

Kosheen_resist

Like walking home through the wet leaves shiny in the streetlights because it’s already dark at 5pm. Key track for a playlist: Resist

UNKLE – Never Never Land

UNKLE

Blustery, sunny October days when anything is possible. Leaves swirl in oranges and reds, tiny clouds scudding in the endless blue, the air cool but not cold. Key tracks for a playlist: What Are You To Me? / Invasion

New Moon soundtrack

New Moon

Full of autumnal atmospheres, this one — from the lushly melancholic sounds of Editors, Grizzly Bear, Bon Iver (the fall music MVP) and St Vincent, to the more driving indie vibes of Death Cab For Cutie, The Killers and Muse, to the epically brilliant Thom Yorke track Hearing Damage, this is an album to put on your headphones and watch the season changing. While wondering if your vampire signifiant other is EVER going to get back in touch. Key tracks for a playlist: Hearing Damage / No Sound But The Wind

Radiohead – In Rainbows

In Rainbows

Lonely, windswept electronica, full of lovely, yearning melodies and aching choruses — again, get those headphones on, and lose yourself in the deeply ambient sadness of Thom Yorke and the gang. Key tracks for a playlist: Weird Fishes / All I Need

set the controls for the heart of the sun

British space-rockers Muse have always been intergalactic.

They tend towards the epic. Their latest tour is no exception. Currently playing in arenas in the US (as opposed to their usual stadiums elsewhere in the world), they are in the ascendant here, expanding beyond the confines of the space into undiscovered dimensions. The show is like a million brilliantly-lit synapses firing simultaneously, Pink Floyd on acid, fast-forwarded into a monumental version of 2001:A Space Odyssey (their stage set has monoliths and is full of stars, and spending two hours watching it is like traveling through the star gate, over and over again), digitally spliced into an enhanced, particularly psychedelic version of the original Star Trek series, remixed into the atmospherically heavy, majestic and futuristic landscapes of Blade Runner, and with all the paranoia of the best sci-fi, and all the beauty – as Exogenesis: Symphony Part I plays out, digital imagery overloads our sensory capabilities to behold it as we see starry visions, endless space, poetic IMAX-level visuals like the more out-there scenes from Avatar, only more so.

And that’s just one song.

They play many more over the two hour show, and, having learned well from their stint supporting U2 on their 360 stadium tour last year, Muse work the stage, in the round, allowing fans on all sides to watch Matt Bellamy coax howls and whispers, screams and tears, roars and huge, monster crunching from his guitar as he croons and soars, playing furiously, with molten metal fluidity. The band is extraordinarily locked together, and they lay down crushing grooves as though several Led Zeppelins were on stage with a few Metallicas and Slayers; only Muse make it look effortless. They blend metal, indie-rock, orchestral majesty, virtuoso piano like Chopin. Imagine a supergroup comprised of Joe Satriani, James Hetfield, Thom Yorke, Jeff Buckley, a bevy of conspiracy theorists, an alien and Debussy, and you might get close to understanding the truly unearthly being that is singer-guitarist Matt Bellamy. The other two are peerless: Dominic Howard sounds like an army of drummers and delivers a brutal, monumental barrage of monstrous, relentless proportions, while Chris Wolstenholme transforms his bass from the super-charged engine of the Muse spaceship  into a fifties B-movie monster prowling menacing and vast through the future cityscapes created by Matt and Dominic, thrashing around, pounding at impossible speeds, rising up to loom over the whole.

The Muse experience is an insane, mind-dazzling rush delivered with absolute control, precision and power. They are becoming themselves in the US at last: powered by the triple engine of the Twilight soundtrack connection, the U2 support gig last year, and the release of what might be their best album yet in The Resistance, a slinky, hard-rocking, melancholy and space-operatic masterpiece with no inhibitions: the most perfect blend yet of the old-fashioned romance, paranoia, beauty and gazing into the far reaches of the universe that typifies Muse.