There’s something about Autumn that distills the mind. Whatever blossomed in Spring and found expression in Summer is starting to quietly, gently fall. Projects, events, emotions, affections, concerns, the drive to explore new places and faces: somehow, for some reason, the body responds to the seasonal change, and the various peaks of summer stabilize into a quieter rhythm.
Projects are still due, love still unfolds, emotions still color our days, of course. We remain ourselves regardless of the Season, and life continually presents its basic drives and triumphs and sorrows. Yet there is something sobering about Fall, something one can feel in his or her very bones. Perhaps it’s a sense of time, a sense that nothing really stays the same. And as the earth prepares for the barren slumber of winter – that suspended time when we wonder where all the green has gone, and wonder if it will return – we reflect on what has been.
Perhaps we ought to lean more into the ache of Autumn, the ache of whatever it is we try to avoid throughout our day-to-day lives. Beauty is a great comfort, with her reds and golds. New love is a comfort, with its emotional bursts and warmth. But we mar these things by clinging to them. The earth knows not to hold on: deciduous trees release their leaves freely each year, calmly, silently. They “know” that the loss will not have the final word, and so they don’t fight against it.
A wise woman once told me about a time when she was sitting out in the cold one morning, on the edge of a forest. She felt melancholy as she regarded the naked trees before her: they looked dead. But then – out of the silence, she felt this question arise: Don’t you love the clarity winter brings?
With this in mind, we’re thrilled to share this collection of carefully selected songs with you, songs that capture this posture of being, as Rilke once put it, “exposed on the cliffs of the heart.” Exposed, open-handed, watching, listening. Don’t you love the clarity this time brings?
Be well, stay warm, and enjoy.
- Talk All Night | Tyson Motsonbocker
We’re starting things off with this pensive-yet-bouyant song by LA singer-songwriter Tyson Motsonbocker. Space, synth, and a steady electric pulse provide a warm backdrop to Motsonbocker’s confessional lyrics. “I don’t want your words if I can’t have you,” he sings, initially: but the song gives way to a deeper state of love, a less possessive one. “Guess I still have your words if I can’t have you. If you have to feel free, I suppose that will do.” Check out our exclusive interview with Tyson here, and be sure to follow him on Instagram @japhyrider.
- Giant Love | Michelle Mandico
On a beautiful night this past May, we were graced by Michelle’s presence and talent at Love Good headquarters when we threw together an impromptu house-concert. This track is a live recording of one of her original tunes from that night. Her crystalline voice – which reveals a heart both child-like and womanly – and her unique lyricism breathe new life into a familiar myth. Follow her @michellemandico.
- Don’t Know Who I Am | Rebecca Roubion
Things take on a slightly cooler shade with this haunting tune from Rebecca Roubion. It presents as a modern ballad, with stark instrumentation that channels the focus toward Roubion’s husky voice. “I can stitch all I want,” she says, “But I’m still stitching a Scarlett letter.” A sense of disillusionment and grief brood beneath the surface. Keep up with Rebecca on Instagram @rebeccaroubion.
- Indefensible | Scott Mulvahill
This is another song that makes incredible use of space. The immediacy of emotion conveyed via his vocal delivery and the lyrics is so human, so relatable, that you nearly forget the technical mastery that goes into Scott Mulvahill’s signature tone. This is an honest song, borne out of sitting with one’s discomfort and then letting it go. Check out his exclusive Love Good interview here, and follow him on Instagram @scottmulvahill.
- Three Birds in Babylon | Gray Havens
This lushly produced, cinematic song provides the anchor-point in this playlist. If a song could be categorized as a living creature, this would be a peacock: strutting, head held firmly erect, feathers almost garishly iridescent and bold. The lyrics are mysterious: who is the woman he’s singing of? What story is he telling, albeit obliquely? “Look how she goes – she gave herself away. Her crown, her throne – like a fool, like a renegade. . .She goes at the break of dawn in that same sun-golden dress. Every day she comes to say, ‘Look up. Look at the dawn.’ Follow Gray Havens on Instagram @grayhavensmusic.
- Little Dove | Lindsay Clark
Folk and Celtic influences weave a comforting tapestry of words and sounds in this new song from Oregon-based songstress Lindsay Clark. The thesis beneath the music is evident, here; It is, as Clark herself puts it, “clear, but also varied in tone and color. It is rich: it is a question as much as a statement or an answer.” Stay in touch with Lindsay by liking her Facebook page.
- Begin Againers | Scott Mulvahill
You better believe we have two songs from Scott Mulvahill on here. This version of his extremely popular song “Begin Againers” was recorded live this past May at Love Good and has since exploded on Facebook. We’re thrilled to be releasing it exclusively.
- Young Man (Clear Eyes) | Alanna Boudreau
Another Love Good exclusive release, this live take from Alanna Boudreau breathes naturally, out-of-time and imperfect (she never assumed it would be released anywhere, so she was very relaxed when singing it). The tone is one of intimacy borne from deeply held, deeply treasured memories; and bears the lyrical simplicity of an early song about an early love. “Your hunger for God is jumping out of your eyes.” Keep up with Alanna on Facebook.
- Autumn Waltz Sans Fall | Eric Cyr
Duluth-Based musician Eric Cyr has a great wit with words. This song was composed in response to a challenge to write about Autumn without using the word “Fall” (so legend has it). Cyr (pronounced “Sear”) more than succeeded: Autumn Waltz is a lovely, quirky tune reminiscent of Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, and other such folks singers who went about their business sans frills. Rachel Cyr, Eric’s sister, provides harmony. This, too, is a Love Good exclusive release. Follow Eric on Instagram @cyriousmusic.
- I Am Mine | Brooke Waggoner
As we approach the end of the sampler, Louisiana native Brooke Waggoner’s distinctive modern folk inserts a sense of tenderness and forgiveness – toward oneself! – into our pondering. This dream-like song gains texture as it unfolds. Keep up with Brooke’s musical adventures on Instagram @brookewaggoner_.
- Storehouse | Gray Havens
Storehouse is balm for the aching heart, for the sense of loss. It speaks a fundamental truth over every barren tree, every apparent lack. Beautifully produced but no less raw, this is a soulful tune that hits its listener with its clear-eyed focus.
- The Love Good Story | Jimmy Mitchell
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