by Haley Kittleson
It’s official. Everyone’s lips are constantly chapped, you’re breaking out that box of cozy things you’ve been waiting to open since that unbearably hot week last month, you are spending noticeably more time in your go-to cafe, and people are saying “Can you believe it’s already October?!”. I can confirm that, yes, fall is among us. To many, this means the excitement of the holiday season is just around the corner, and to some, it begs the looming question: “The year is three-quarters over. What are you doing to make the remaining fourth worthwhile?”. Now that the semester is fully underway and people (including myself) are in more of a routine, I have had time to reflect on what these next few months might entail for me...
Since transferring to Berkeley this fall semester, I have been faced with a lot of ‘new’ in terms of university life. For starters, classes typically exceed fifty people, there are way more than twenty organizations to get involved with on campus, tons of research and other internship opportunities are readily available, and so much more. It is a bit of a culture shock coming from a city college to say the least. But with that being said, amongst the stressful moments of transition, have been so many moments of gratitude.
Being a November baby, I was always offended by the people who started celebrating Christmas immediately after Halloween. Because in truth, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday (and how can you just disregard November like that?!). I always find that the most growth comes from personal reflection and understanding. Without understanding how you might have changed for the better or worse in your recent history, how do you expect to learn and grow in your foreseeable future? During the last few months of the year, and especially this year, I am looking at how my life has shifted over the course of 2019.
Don’t get me wrong, 2019 has been the most hectic year I have ever experienced yet. Chock-full of euphoric moments through travel and life-long accomplishments, to horribly tragic and life altering events. Regardless of the feeling, I am a sucker for nostalgia. I love to remember the best and the worst because it helps me put things in perspective as my life progresses. So much nowadays tells us to not feel things fully, and continue soldiering on. Yes, I am one to soldier on because life never stops, but I manage to stay emotionally conscious through music. Through curating playlists associated with the noteworthy events, people, and emotions in my life, even in the most confusing of times I can find some sort of personal clarity (while also creating a grade-A playlist, if I do say so myself).
Now that fall is here and my nostalgia is kicking into high-gear, I am going to recommend songs for all the feels one might be having in the remaining fourth of 2019...
Feeling like strutting your spooky szn fit down the street to spice up your Tuesday morning commute to class? This French-Psychadelic-Pop-Rock band will bring a whole new level of style to your fall season. La Femme has ranked in my top three favorite artists for the past four years, and is an all year round favorite, but has a particular je ne sais quoi in the spookier months.
Song: “Amour dans le motu” and “Hypsoline” Album: Psycho Tropical Berlin (Bonus Track Version) Artist: La Femme
… and my personal favorite, “Jaded Future - Future Las (Bonus Track)” Album: Psycho Tropical Berlin (Bonus Track Version)
Feeling like having a particularly slow morning with a piping cup of your signature hot beverage because it’s cold and overcast outside? Both of these artists have a special place in my heart for their ability to achieve such a plethora of things through their music. Connan Mockasin takes a much more experimental, yet dream-like, approach to his music -- especially in his earlier albums Forever Dolphin Love and Caramel (also worth a listen). Devendra Banhart incorporates his Venuzuelan roots with his music to make himself into a widely versatile artist in early 2000’s freak folk movement.
Song: “Charlotte’s Thong” Album: Jassbusters Artist: Connan Mockasin.
Song: “An Island” Album: Nino Rojo Artist: Devendra Banhart.
Feeling like getting lost in your thoughts as you stroll along the water at the Berkeley Marina (or your naturey-area of choice)? Both of these songs have helped me find intention in my actions in separate periods where I couldn’t seem to find the motivation I needed to persevere. Often times as fall begins, so does the long season of cold, dark, and wet days. These songs have helped lighten up my day, along with many others by these three artists.
Song: “Sleepwalking” Album: Mercy Mountain Artist: Moses Gunn Collective.
Song: “Last Ride” Album: 7 Artist: Beach House.
Song: “Morning Sun” Album: Ode to Quetzalcoatl Artist: Dave Bixby
Feeling like you are loving your life and thrive in the cold? These songs are sure to put a smile on your already smiling face because they both encapsulate joy in their own unique way. And if you aren’t smiling, go frolic in some puddles or leaf piles with these songs as your soundtrack.
Song: “Tangible Intangible” Album: Quartz Bisou Artist: Fly Golden Eagle.
Song: “What Happens to People?” Album: Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared? Artist: Deerhunter.
And lastly, feeling like giving the ones you love the most some gratitude this chilly season? These are two (of a few) of my favorites when thinking about the people that mean the most to me in my life. In the wake of João Gilberto’s passing this July, I have rediscovered my love for his classic bossa nova sound. Along with this, I grew up listening to bossa nova with some of those I lost this past year, which makes me uber nostalgic and grateful for the memories these individuals have left me with.
Song: “All of Me (disse alguem)” Album: Brazil Artist: João Gilberto.
Song: “Life + You” Album: W/ Love Artist: infinite bisous.
Regardless of how you might be feeling this fall, or any time, music has proven to have a profound affect over my mindset. Hopefully these suggestions can help contribute to your desired wavelength this season. In the meantime, cheers to love, loss, and everything in between.