I am beyond excited to be a part of the ’31 Days’ series this fall!!! The brain child of one of my favorite bloggers, The Nester – the 31 Days series is being participated in on over 1000 blogs! (and counting-this is only the first day to link up)! We are all writing on a topic for 31 days straight – and let me just say this will definitely be a challenge for me with my hectic back-to-school and performing-an-operetta-this-month schedule! However, I have been looking forward to this series for months, as last year I participated for the first time by writing about waiting. I’m glad I chose a topic that was part of that season of my life, but let’s just say…it wasn’t my favorite! (Can you tell I’m impatient? Wink-Wink). I knew this year I had to write about something that is a true and deep passion for me. As I made lists of my ideas and thought and prayed – it was immediately clear my first idea was my topic… Music! And even more specific than that…playlists! My best friend is always telling me I have the ‘spiritual gift of the mix tape’, and like so many musicians and music fanatics of my generation, I have been making them since…yes, they were actually mix-TAPES. I hope to share with you not only my favorites, but a wide enough mix of genres and styles that hopefully you will find some of your own favorites, along with discovering new artists and musical styles. I would ask that if you don’t see something you like on a specific day, please come back around for the following days, as I will be doing my best to offer you a diverse mix of musical genres. I’m also planning on posts that coincide with different seasons in life or daily activities – like music to write to, road trips, playlists for different moments of life and of course, lots of my favorites and new musical discoveries.
I’ll normally be using the super-groovy website Grooveshark.com (no, they are not a sponsor or paying me to say that–hello, future affiliate??) to make each of the playlists you’ll see here. It should appear in your browser, and I’ll post it at the end of each post, so you can turn it off or on at your leisure. (Just a heads up – The playlist itself may not show up if you are reading these posts on your phone. I’m sorry my technologically-challenged self can’t tell you why, but they’ve always worked and appeared while viewing the blog on a desk or laptop).
Since today is the intro to our month-long musical journey, I thought I’d dip our feet into the musical pot with sharing some new albums that have either released or are set to release this fall. Many of them I have downloaded and/or previewed (or played on continuous repeat for the past week – hello Mumford & Sons!) –and some I just don’t have access to (no more industry inside scoop for me these days), so I’ve shared some videos of the artists discussing and sharing their upcoming tunes. I have not heard every song on every album recommended, so I can not vouch for some albums total quality, content or rating (meaning foul language or not), so parents of wee ones, please of course use your discretion. I do however truly enjoy the artist’s I’m recommending here. (For example, I can tell you up front as a disclaimer you’re not going to get any genres like heavy metal or house party music here…sorry if I offend anyone’s musical tastes, but I’m stickin’ to my own opinions and favorites.)
Here are my top 5 favorite picks for new fall album release!
1. Mumford & Sons – Babel
Oh sweet Mumford’s, how I love thee on this album! Hopeless Wanderer, Lover of the Light, Ghost That We Know… Every song is a gem – I’ve had it on continual repeat since it was released last week. ‘Babel’ is the current #1 album on itunes, and rightfully so… I loved their first album, ‘Sigh No More’, but I truly think this album is even better! I will definitely be sharing other songs from this album on various playlists this month, but I thought the first single “I Will Wait” was a fitting intro to this glorious album…
2. All Sons & Daughters – The Longing
I’ve recently discovered this dynamic singing duo from their previous EP’s Season One and Brokenness Aside. Isn’t the cover delightful? I love the cover’s truth filled lyric from one of the album’s tunes–“Love is and always was the longing placed inside my heart to know you and be known by you” This EP has only 6 tracks (a norm for this band – they make short albums, but the tunes are pure quality – you’ll want to download every one). My current favorite is “Oh How I Need You” – complete with banjo strumming – (did all the latest bands get a memo to include banjos in their music once Mumford & Sons hit it big?) and campfire-happy vocals. Check out the story behind another one of the EP’s songs (another of my favorites) “Called Me Higher from the artist’s themselves…
3. Bebo Norman – Light of Distant Cities
Yes, when I was in college (look at me dating myself) the first time around, I listened to Bebo’s debut Ten Thousand Days. As I travelled on the road in my first musical theatre touring show, I listened to his song “The Trees Stand Still”, and dreamed of the day when I would be married and living in one place. When I lived in the hills of Pennsylvania, I listened to “Great Light of the World” and “So Afraid” as I ran through the fields and the forest in the morning and at dusk. (I loved the album title “Myself When I Am Real”.) I haven’t listened to good ole’ Bebo’s music since he settled down and had some kiddos (he was the folky-Christian-music crush of the day, ya know) and I got hitched myself. Cut to this fall, as I was happy to hear of his new release this month. His last few albums have felt a little too slick and contemporary for me, but I really do like everything I’m hearing about the upcoming EP. Check out both an insightful interview into Bebo’s creative process this time around, and and the upcoming single “Broken” below…
4. Diana Krall – Glad Rag Doll
Thought I’d throw an unexpected album into the Top 5 Mix. I love jazz, and though I mostly listen to classic standards, like Ella Fitzgerald or Harry Connick, I think Diana Krall is a fantastic jazz musician/pianist/singer. I first enjoyed her music when I heard her sizzling yet cool “Peel Me A Grape”. Married to Elvis Costello, her latest project seems a little off her typical beaten jazz path, and I like the feeling and vibe of this album. I haven’t listened to all of the tracks, but take a listen to the soft and soulful track off the upcoming album, “Wide River To Cross”. (If you don’t love this particular album of Krall’s, check out her classic jazz albums “Love Scenes” or “Live In Paris” for a glimpse into her extensive body of work.)
Dave Matthews Band – Away From The World
I have listened to the Dave Matthews Band for years. My husband and I claim their song “You And Me” as one of ‘ours’, and what thirtysomething hasn’t heard a song like “Crash” and thought about an old twenty-something crush? It’s hard to believe they’ve been making such good albums for as long as they have. I saw one of their famous live shows a few years back in Dallas, and was blown away by their musicianship–they play as well if not better live than they do on their records! One of my favorites off of the new album is “Mercy” – take a listen…
Other new fall releases include Muse, Taylor Swift, No Doubt, Heart, Tori Amos (greatest hits compilation), Andrew Petersen, The Avett Brothers, The Wallflowers, Band of Horses, and a single by Ingrid Michaelson…to name a few!
What music are you listening to this fall?