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I MADE YOU A PLAYLIST, Vol. 12: "Patchwork" 🍂
Autumn leaves falling down like pieces into place...
Fall! Is! Here!!! In other words, we finally turned off our AC in Birmingham. I swear every year fall makes me act like I’ve never seen a single leaf change color before (they’re all just SO BEAUTIFUL), never had a perfect cup of coffee before (this is it, FYI), never woken up freezing after leaving my window cracked overnight for some “fresh air” with no concept of how cold 48 degrees actually feels.
I’ve found this perpetual naïveté to be strangely comforting, not only because it means fall will always be exciting for me (yay!), but also because I’m in the middle of switching jobs and moving cities, and just outside the window next to all the partially-packed boxes in my room, the leaves are still changing just as they always have.
So yeah, there’s a lot happening! But most of the time everything feels right. And of course, even when it doesn’t, I can count on good friends and good music to save the day.
House of Confusion by Trace Mountains
I’m pretty sure this new album from Trace Mountains (aka - Dave Benton & co.) will sneak its way onto my year-end favorites list. It’s quietly complex and filled with warm, lush arrangements that back unexpectedly thought-provoking lyrics. 10/10 would recommend for fall drives, solo plane rides, or slow mornings at home. Don’t miss “THE MOON” or “EYES ON THE ROAD / HEART OF GOLD” — those are my faves so far.
+ a few more recent obsessions:
Stephen Sanchez’s debut EP, What Was, Not Now (esp. “I Want You”—his voice is un. 🤯 real.)
Anything and everything by Carol Ades.
Anderson East’s recent acoustic performance of “Hood Of My Car.”
Patrick Droney’s performance of “On Your Way Home” for VEVO. 🥲
Call me a basic millennial, but I really loved Sally Rooney’s new novel, Beautiful World, Where Are You. It offers more complete character arcs and a tiny bit more of the comfort/reassurance/happy ending feels I wanted but never got out of her previous two books, Normal People and Conversations with Friends. I wrote down plenty of favorite lines, but I think this one takes the top spot:
I was tired, it was late, I was sitting half-asleep in the back of a taxi, remembering strangely that wherever I go, you are with me, and so is he, and that as long as you both live the world will be beautiful to me.
I know I mentioned Helena Fitzgerald’s griefbacon newsletter last time, but one of her recent posts made my heart explode (again). It’s called “old friends and the parties they throw,” and it’s mostly about friends becoming family, which feels especially pertinent to my life at this exact moment as I prepare to venture beyond Birmingham and my people here. This is the bit that really got me:
…love was creating a mythology, and building it bigger over the years, until it was large and bright enough to survive beyond the people in it, to carry them forward past themselves.
Here is the oldest, the most hackneyed and cliche, story, the one from movies and books and from years around the kitchen table, under the same antique lamp, bathed in the same stopped-clock glow: Sometimes your friends, through time and repetition, become your family.
My Instagram explore page is usually a healthy mix of Harry Styles tour coverage (obviously), fan edits from Timothée Chalamet’s press circuit for Dune (naturally), and………… UK interior designers??!? Yes, that would be correct.
My latest beautiful British find is The Bear Inn in Shropshire, England. It’s been around since the 16th century but recently reopened after extensive renovations, and I simply must go there *immediately.* All the rooms were designed by Octavia Dickinson, whose account is equally if not more wonderful.
***Unrelated, but if you’re not following Joni Mitchell, you’re doing everything wrong:
Here we go again… another autumnal playlist for your crispy morning walks or your fire pit hangs or for stuffing your face with every pumpkin baking mix on the shelves at TJs! But this playlist… This one is different. I think it packs some serious old-school-meets-new-school je ne sais quoi, and (hopefully) offers the perfect balance of familiar voices and uncharted territory.
As the title suggests, these songs are a true mix of genres, eras, vibes, etc. There’s Billie Holiday and George Harrison and Carole King followed by MUNA and Sam Fender and Yebba and Lorde. There’s cozy steel guitar and warm piano, but also chilling lyrics about existential dread and sad ones about missing people or places or days gone by.
As the title also suggests, I needed some reassuring musical motivation as I prepare for my upcoming ~life changes~. Lately I’ve loved imagining all the people and places and tiny moments of my last 6+ years in Birmingham stitched up together in one mismatched patchwork quilt, ready to wrap me up in familiarity when things inevitably feel uncertain, so here we are: a patchworked playlist for my patchworked feelings!
What can I say? I love a good hodgepodge—but I promise this collection comes together and just works. (Which, coincidentally, is exactly what I’m hoping will happen for me personally in the next few months. Fingers crossed, lol.)
Oh, and if I do say so myself—this features some of my best, most unexpected sequencing, so listen in order if you can. 🤓
Thirteen - Joshua Speers (the “would you be an outlaw for my love?” arrangement on this version gets me EVERY TIME)
Birch - Big Red Machine feat. Taylor Swift
the angel of 8th ave. - Gang of Youths (this will give you superpowers)
time is gone - Sydney Sprague
Crazy He Calls Me - Billie Holiday
So Far Away - Carole King
Upward Swing - Astronauts, etc.
You Get Me (20th Anniversary Edition) - Michelle Branch (we simply do not deserve her)
Spit of You - Sam Fender
Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll) - George Harrison
Momentum - Blake Ruby
Silk Chiffon - MUNA feat. Phoebe Bridgers (tbh this is really the only song that’s existed since September 7)
In Your Arms - Ralphie Kent
Partner in Crime - Lucy Dacus
East Chicago, IN - Michigander
The Promise - Samia feat. Jelani Aryeh
Distance - Yebba
We Will Dance Again - Sumbuck
Until I Found You - Stephen Sanchez
Cool Jam - Houndmouth
BABY - Delilah Montagu (i cannot get enough of this one)
Woman in My Heart - Madi Diaz
Mr. Major - Wilderado
Make You Miss Me - Field Guide
Smartest Man - Homeschool feat. Samia
Camille - The Droptines (h/t to my new bestie Caity Krone for this one)
Off My Mind - joe p
Get You Down - Sam Fender
Ribs - Lorde (this always brings me back to early morning tube rides from Kings Cross to Wimbledon circa fall 2013)
Working for the Knife - Mitski
dorothea - Taylor Swift
You Got Me - Gabriel Bernini
Diving Woman - Japanese Breakfast
Last Resort - Natalie Hemby (her entire Pins And Needles album is worth a listen)
Five N’ Dime - Mills
Shooting Star - Sylvie (their debut EP is spot-on for sleepy dark mornings)
Better Than I Know Myself - Del Water Gap
Easy Going - Kacy Hill
Honey - Molly Payton
Truly - Eerie Wanda
Nothing Touches Me - Sam Burton
I Don’t Live Here Anymore - The War on Drugs feat. Lucius
Have You Thought About Me With Somebody Else - Georgia Greene
Don’t Stop Loving Me - Joshua Speers feat. SKAAR
That Funny Feeling - Phoebe Bridgers
Us Against the World - Coldplay
Or HERE if you’re an Apple Music user!
Happy Fall! 🍁 Change is a good thing.