photo by Heather Wilson Smith

Here are five of my favorite autumnal albums: sounds that emit a subdued, warm glow; and soft, round edges, manifested as organic, woody and resonant instrumentation.

Erlend Øye’s Legao contains songs of disappointment set to sunny, laid-back grooves; the perfect combination. Click for full review.

Yet another excellent debut album in 2014, although a couple of the songs have been kicking around as singles since 2012. Blending instruments, textures and polyrhythms from Africa and the Caribbean with perfect, sparkling pop songcraft, Dan Croll‘s Sweet Disarray is heartfelt, danceable, sunny, inspired, and utterly charming. Highly recommended for fans of Vampire Weekend. A note of […]

Dynamics is one of the keys to this Sheffield UK duo‘s third album; a number of the songs start in a languid, romantic groove and gradually build in intensity, adding horns and strings, until they take off and soar. Another key is the powerful, emotional singing of Rebecca Taylor; while she and bandmate Charles Watson […]

Prior to this my favorite Beck album was Sea Change, so I couldn’t be happier that he teamed with the same musicians to make another album in a similar, relaxed, Harvest-era Neil Young, singer/songwriter vein. The songs are gorgeous, his layered harmonies like honey; the organic instrumentation—acoustic guitar, piano, banjo, occasional strings and pedal steel, […]