Soundcheck: Autumn Sweater

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Published September 25, 2009

Summer officially ended this week, which means it’s time to break out the autumnal records and start listening to music that is less about dance jams and guitar riffery and more about the cozy, wistful feeling that comes just before everything dies and everyone goes into hiding for the winter:

Palms Boundary Waters Remixed EP (Rare Book Room)
One of 2008’s most unexpected surprises was It’s Midnight in Honolulu, the debut album from Palms. Equal parts moody indie-rock and atmospheric art-school weirdness, the record elicited strong reactions–both positive and negative–from everyone I shared it with. For this EP, the band took one of that albums standout tracks, “Boundary Waters,” and let four different artists take a stab at a remix. Members of Animal Collective, Bloc Party, and Deerhunter all contributes reworkings of the song, as does DFA’s Gavin Russom. These tracks all make for excellent “walking around” music, especially now that there’s a certain crispness to the air.

To Kill a Petty Bourgeoisie Marlone (Kranky)
If you can get past the band name, this Minneapolis duo will reward you with a beautiful sampling of bedroom electronica and shoegazery post-rock. There are tracks on hear that stretch past 10 minutes long–perhaps more fitting as mood music than for concentrated listening.

Low Secret Name (Kranky)
Secret Name bridges the gap between the band’s minimalist past and the fuller, more rock-oriented sounds they seem to be making these days. Songs like “Immune” and “Starfire” are downright poppy (albeit in a sleepy kind of way), and “Two Step” and “Will the Night” are among some of the most beautiful songs that Low has ever recorded.

Yo La Tengo I Can Hear The Heart Beating as One (Matador)
Aside from being one of Yo La Tengo’s most sonically diverse and generally warm sounding albums, this record also contains the classic song “Autumn Sweater”–it’s truly the auditory equivalent of putting one on.

Tram Heavy Black Frame (Jetset)
Some might call this kind of lush, hazy indie-pop slightly depressing. I prefer to call it romantic, kind of like re-readng a sad old poem that you love or sitting through a movie that you know is probably going to make you cry. Get our your handkerchiefs, my friends. It’s gonna be winter soon.