Fall Suggestions for The Fall
We are currently in the wonderful (and frightening) season of fall. It is my favourite season thanks to the humbling weather, spooky season and because of the best group ever sharing the name of the titular season. Although The Fall are not named after the season, I can’t help but associate the group with the season (or whenever the word “fall” appears anywhere). Despite the only connection between the band and season being in name, I think the group has some fall season-esque songs in their extensive and diverse discography. So, I will leave some suggestions below for Fall tracks that you should add to your fall season playlist.
“Entitled” — Originally a b-side to “Hey! Luciani,” the track is featured on the 4AD compilation album 45 84 89: B Sides and the expanded version of Bend Sinister. This is one of the few Fall songs where Mark E. Smith (R.I.P.) makes an attempt to sing. He does so in a style that greatly compliments the melody of the song. The melody and drums harmoniously illicit the feeling of cold air rushing against you. You can imagine a chilly wind flowing through your body as you hastily stroll to your destination. I especially love the section of the song where the melody changes (around 2:18), as the bass and lead guitar sync together. Always gives me such a whimsical feeling and my face just goes “^_^.”
“Alton Towers” — An attempt from The Fall to utilise elements of jazz for their artistic output, the track succeeds in creating a menacing vibe for sitting outside on the grass as you are enveloped by the cold, darkness of the night. You want to shiver as breezes of the night’s chilly temperatures pierce through your body. At least, that’s what the track elicits from me. The hypnotic bass and added “squeaky” effects are highlights of this track.
“Cab It Up” — I had to include a track from I Am Kurious Oranj, as the album has an essential fall colour in the title. I feel this track is best for the season, as it has a very bouncy and groovy drive (no pun intended). This song is perfect for those afternoon walks, where the sun is graciously giving you some warmth to balance out the wind’s attempt to discourage you from enjoying outside activities. The glittery keyboard melody is so catchy, and greatly represents those brightly coloured leaves that surround you. Shoutout to Dr. Marcia Schofield for being a G.O.A.T. keyboardist.
“Room to Live” — The title track from the 1982 little brother of Hex Enduction Hour has one of my favourite basslines from Steve Hanley. If you ever need a song to accompany you to jump on or step through piles of fallen leaves, this is that song. I can’t really explain why, but the song just gives a great “jumping” and “self-grandiose” vibe to hype you up.
“Bill Is Dead” — Another track where MES gives us some singing instead of shouting. This song offers some great smooth and relaxing vibes. Imagine yourself in the early morning, lying in your toasty bed, staring outside, watching the sun slowly rising to brighten up your day. The higher and brighter the sun gets, the more your worries disappear as you relax your mind and spirit. Key instrument to focus on for optimal smooth vibes: the organ.
“Pumpkin Soup and Mashed Potatoes” — What a goofy, yet enjoyable track from The Unutterable. We have MES singing about the titular dish while the group plays as if they’re in a jazz lounge. Why this song? Well, the mentions of pumpkins and Halloween in the lyrics. Just a fun track overall from my fav Fall album.
“Time Enough At Last” — Named after the classic episode from The Twilight Zone, this is a calming track from the heavily dance focused Code: Selfish. It’s a sonically breezy track for some easy swaying, like the foliage and branches at the mercy of fall winds. This song also gives me “sitting outside on a park bench drinking a chai latte” vibe. Not sure why. When you give it a listen, lemme know if you also get the same vibe.
“A Day in the Life” — One of the many covers The Fall did throughout their eclectic career, this track was featured on the NME compilation album Sgt. Pepper Knew My Father. An improvement to the original (in my biased opinion), as the pacing is faster and instrumentation tighter. Another reason to add this cover over the original is Mark’s vulnerable-sounding vocal delivery. Its both beautiful and haunting. Perfectly summing up the fall season.
That was a short list of Fall tracks I would suggest you add to your fall season playlist. Could’ve kept going, but even I can (sometimes) recognise when I need to restrain my obsession with the best group in the world. I hope you enjoy some of the tracks I suggested, hopefully all of them. In the words of John Doran, “Be less beastly, listen to The Fall.”