The equinox is upon us, and as the leaves change, so should our playlists. Here are some Portland-grown tracks to set good autumn ambiance, help sweeten the shortening days, or add some spice to a foliage-focused road trip (scroll down to read a bit about each selection):
"Graveyard," Dead Moon
Welcome in the seasons of ghosts and ghouls with this visit to the graveyard, courtesy of beloved punk Portland couple Fred and Toody Cole.
“Backup Plan,” Dakota Theim
Bedroom pop meets ’70s sunshine in this lush cut from a Portland singer/songwriter/producer on the rise.
“Common Ground,” Haley Johnsen
What says "I will take my serotonin where I can get it" better than a disco-flecked country shuffle?
“Shag Bag,” Chance Hayden
Lively jazz-funk anchored by blasts of brass and some virtuosic guitar playing, plus an assist from legendary organist Ronnie Foster.
"Amethyst Baby," Marki$ Apollo & Rasheed Jamal
This spry slice of piano rap would have made the cut even if it didn't include a lyric about skating away from naysayers like Tonya Harding, but it does include that lyric, and we are grateful.
"Monster Truck," KNDRX
Hard-edged and infectious, perfect for that extra boost of confidence when your fall fit already has you feeling fifty percent invincible.
"Time Bomb," Slang
Former Sleater-Kinney Janet Weiss's supergroup Slang put out its debut full-length earlier this year, and this driving cut calls to mind classic Spoon with a PNW twist.
"Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands," Elliott Smith
You really can't go wrong with Elliott Smith this season, but there's something especially autumnal about this singsongy deep cut from 1998's XO—it's sweet, mournful, and builds to a deliciously melodramatic swell.
"Promises," Ural Thomas & the Pain
The soul legend's latest LP, Dancing Dimensions, mostly calls to mind summer sun, but it occasionally slows down for moments like this aching penultimate cut, which is all drippy organ and doo-wop harmonies.
"Graveyard Rock," Tarantula Ghoul
Closing us out with a novelty single from one of Portland's proudest Halloween standard bearers: a horn-soaked ode to things that go bump in the night.