Sounds of the season

Fall music releases

Music is a personal thing. It’s hard to know now what records I’ll still like in a month or two, let alone what new albums will survive the fall season for anyone else, but here are a few new and upcoming releases I hope will provide some solace in the coming months.

Everyone with a working set of ears should check out Blonde Redhead’s Penny Sparkle. Over the course of a nearly 20-year history, the band has evolved from New York post-punk to Baroque chamber pop. The new album, out Sept. 14, is introverted and keyboard-heavy, very moody and European in flavor, perfect for feeling depressed on a windy day.

Fans of indie guitar music ought to check out Patagonian Rats, the brand spanking new record by Sacramento math rock band Tera Melos. It’s full of weird sounds and tricky time changes but still boasts cohesive songwriting. It’s progressive without being boring and anthemic without being dumb. The band’s coming to Reno Sept. 12, which should be a real treat.

Two records I’d recommend for fall listening are A Sufi and a Killer by Gonjasufi and Teen Dream by Beach House. Though both were released last spring, they boast sounds that are more autumnal than vernal. They’re also the only two 2010 albums I’ve heard so far with the potential to reach classic status.

It’s rare I encounter something that doesn’t sound like anything I’ve heard before—A Sufi and a Killer is such a record. It’s rooted in hip-hop, but more in spirit than sound. It’s a bizarre collage of Turkish psychedelia, Native American field recordings, stoner electronica and a whole bunch of other stuff. And Gonjasufi is an amazing vocalist, like a mix of Tom Waits, Lee “Scratch” Perry and H.R. of Bad Brains. Listening to this record makes smoking pot a redundancy.

Teen Dream is not to be confused with Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream. On paper, Beach House resembles Mazzy Star, a sad-faced alto accompanied by minimal organ and guitar, but I like Beach House way more. The harmonic and melodic changes are often unexpected, and always perfect.

October will see the release of The Undercard by The Extra Lens, a duo consisting of Franklin Bruno of Nothing Painted Blue and John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats. Fans of Darnielle’s witty, folksy songwriting will find a lot to like here, but the production and instrumentation is a lot more polished than on Mountain Goats albums, so this should appeal to fans of acoustic rock, like the stuff in heavy rotation on Reno’s KTHX.

But September might end up being the best month of the year for new releases. There’s a whole slew of promising upcoming releases this month, including Interpol (Sept. 7), Nick Cave’s Grinderman (Sept. 14), and indie rock icons Superchunk (Sept. 14). Weezer also has a new album coming out, Hurley on Sept. 14; the music will probably be mediocre, but it boasts a great cover featuring Lost actor Jorge Garcia. Deerhunter and No Age also have albums slated for later in the month.