10 essential Post-Summer albums

coldestSeason

Well that was some craic. The earth tilted its axis ever so closer to the sun and most of us lost the run of ourselves at festivals, outdoor cinemas and pop-up-everythings. Others sojourned in distant lands—volunteering, backpacking, deck-chair filling. Some of us even tanned slightly.

Now though,  like an ancient harvest celebration, Electric picnic’s passing forebodes the end of Summer days and the onset of another bout of crippling vitamin D deficiency. Ahead of us lie the seasons of the low sun where we retreat to pubs to snuggle pints and recant tales of months gone by. Life is still lived of course, only more slowly.

So as we cede the Summer for another year it seems there’s little choice other than to compound the Autumness by giving it a soundtrack.

No soaring baselines or anything faster than 120 beats per minute for you, though. Tis’ the season to wallow in the early evening gloaming and so our choice of albums in this list are an ode to soundscapes that recall lingering twilights, long shadows cast on leafy ground, cold but sunny days.

Before this intro turns into a Robert Frost poem, here’s our pick of critically acclaimed – and fully playable – albums to welcome the Autumn equinox:

In this list

Quiet Village | Silent Movie
Fever Ray | Fever Ray
Alt-J | An Awesome Wave
M83 | Saturdays = Youth
Röyksopp | Melody A.M
The Chromatics | Kill For Love
Lawrence | Absence of blight
Sigur Rós | Ágætis Byrjun
Deepchords Present Echospace | The Coldest Season
Pantha du Prince | This Bliss

 

Quiet Village | Silent Movie

The album showcases classic serene textures and stirring melodies that dip you in a daydream of mountain landscapes and meditative forests… With echoed reverby tones and psychedelic drum rifts, this ‘silent moive’ is definitely something worth being heard

That’s deck

One of the ‘warmer’ albums on the list, Silent movie is beautiful soundtrack to a movie that was never made with influences from The Avalanches and  Saint Etienne.

 

Fever Ray| Fever Ray

Fever Ray’s music dwells in realms of confusion and illusion. But it grabs our hand and pulls us in too, sublime and perfect.

— The Quietus

Of course the Swedes would appear on a Post-Summer album. In this release, Karen, of the now defunct The Knife reassures us that one part of the brother and sister duo can make music as equally spellbounding as the whole.

 

Alt-J | An Awesome Wave

There are just enough love songs in there to keep it rock, just enough instrumentals to edge it back towards the cinematic, and more than the usual helping of skill to smooth off the edges and end up with a beautifully rounded, awesome debut album.

— Drownedinsound

 

 

M83 | Saturdays = Youth

It’s not a perfect album – in particular, the long outro to Midnight Souls Still Remain is obnoxious and pointless – but it’s tantalisingly close to perfect.

rateyourmusic.com

 

Röyksopp | Melody A.M

There are some downtempo albums that take me back to a certain time and place, and that’s great, but only so much can be gained from going back. Melody A.M. takes me somewhere else entirely, out of time. It’s just an incredible record, worthy of absolutely any compliment you could throw at it.

— rateyourmusic.com

Perfect chill out music from the Scandis.

 

The Chromatics | Kill For Love

Kill for Love, Chromatics’ first album since Night Drive, finally gives this loosely associated, prematurely decayed musical aesthetic its magnum opus– and brilliantly transcends it. The moonlit vibe of previous highlights like street-skulking stunner “In the City” or haunting Kate Bush cover “Running Up That Hill” recurs, and various tracks still crackle and pop with the all-too-mortal degradation of vinyl.

Pitchfork

 

Lawrence | Absence of blight

by achieving affecting emotional depths while still staying true to the smooth Kompakt style, a perfect middle ground is mapped between impeccably realized compositions and house and techno rhythms.

If we had it our way we’d have chosen Lawrence – Lowlights From the Past and Future but like most gems, that album is hard to find. So we’ll have to do—but not settle—with his equally sublime 2003 release.

 

 

Sigur Rós | Ágætis Byrjun

They have crafted a masterpiece of revolutionary proportions that will be hard to outdo. How does one describe the sound of glaciers drifting slowly apart; a lonely ribbon of highway; the most beautiful girl/boy you’ll never see; the insanity and wonder of a planet in a solar system that is perhaps just beyond the reach of reason or heaven.

rateyourmusic.com

 

 

Deepchords Present Echospace | The Coldest Season

The CD distills the vinyl releases into a current of sound that plays through as a single uninterrupted composition, transporting the listener to a bleak arctic soundscape that is raked by gales of reverberant sound and dotted here and there with frozen columns of bass.

A jagged rhythm pounds away beneath the inhospitable tundra, struggling to break through to the surface, while geysers of pure sound hiss and steam their way through the cracks.

— Resident Advisor

One of the most fitting and most spectacular albums on the list. An 81 minute glacial journey through frigid, sprawling, haunting soundscapes.

 

Pantha Du Prince | This Bliss

This is one of the most gorgeous albums I know; it stimulates every nerve, sinew, membrane, bone and fiber in your body; it’s both body-music and mind-music; the sounds are like ice sculptures, rivulets of mercury, iron forged, the buzzing of insects or shortwave transmitters…CokeMachineGlow called it “an answer to prayers for dance floor communiqués and 4/4 body politics” and for once they weren’t wrong.

— rateyourmusic.com

A stunning album shadowed by its inferior – but still quite alright- successor Black noise.

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