Playlist Update: October 16
I'm never sure if it's because I'm born on the official first day of autumn or if it's because my inner goth is closer to the surface than I thought but I adore this time of year. Yes the nights are drawing in calling for early nights (win), the urge to eat all the carbs is irresistible (still winning...) and the weather longs for snuggly jumpers and big old boots (shut up and take my money already!) , but autumn rocks my (very thick) socks.
Why? Because it's a time of reflection and harvest, but it's also a time to replant and put your roots down for the winter. I've had a crazy year of personal growth, upheaval and emotional turbulence. Who hasn't? As we move into the end of my personal leap year my playlist has taken a dark turn. Old classics have resurfaced plus a couple of new sounds with a vintage feel have emerged as firm favourites on my Starred list. There's a definite psychedelic prog sound going on which, coupled with the fact I'm wearing purple lips and just bought a new guitar reaffirm that my inner goth is alive and well. Here's the tracks that have been accompanying me on spooky graveyard walks this year so far.
Formation - Love
We're living in pretty rough times and I often feel fear and general desperation pushing at my borders. I've been doing a lot of work healing myself hoping it can be part of how I help the world long term but let's face it sometimes it all feels a bit shit. This song is on the playlist at work but it took me weeks of lyric searching to finally find it. From the languid, dreamlike opening chords reminiscent of early hours laced with narcotics to the gritty subject matter of a life tied firmly into a reality no one wants, this song is an opiate for late night doubts and rainy days.
They put paper in our hands to take the love out of our hearts
City and Colour - Woman
Atmospheric distortion? Check. Haunting affirmations regarding the power of true love? Check. Whiddly guitar solos and psychedelic effects oozing through my veins for almost 10 minutes straight? Oh yes...
Discovered on a Spotify playlist this track is simultaneously reminiscent of 70s prog and a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Yet despite the echoes of desolation and lost love the track is infinitely powerful. Think slow-mo walking towards your destiny bad-ass powerful. It is a song that captures the cyclical nature of life through the repetition of the verse, poignant lead lick and a steady heartbeat of drums. Yes, the branches are bare but they'll be back. It's much darker than the rest of the If I Should Go Before You album but as nature recedes into winter it's the perfect soundtrack to go on your own internal quest and face your own demons. Or just to jam out with your air guitar. Whatever.
I will stand beneath the silver moon rising
Waiting to resurrect our love
The Devil's Blood - Voodoo Dust
Fun fact: I was awarded the prestigious 'Best Goth' award at school and every autumn I find myself drawn to my older playlists. Opeth's Grand Conjuration album always gets an airing as does AFI's classic Sing the Sorrow. The Devil's Blood hold a special place in my black and withered heart because a) they're Dutch and I really started to make myself whilst living in the Netherlands 6 years ago and b) they're as dark and luxurious as 90% chocolate enjoyed in a black silk bed set. It's an acquired taste but Farida Lemouchi's vocals merge blissfully into her brother and lead writer Selim's cauldron of swirling sounds and musical magic. Selim's death in 2014 (aged just 33) still punches me in the chest when I listen to The Time of No Time Evermore or The Thousandfold Epicentre, especially on vinyl. Go on, get your horns out, pay tribute and indulge in a little black magic this Halloween.