Waking Life: A Music Mix For October 2017

<p>(Photo: courtesy of the artist)</p>
Photo: Bjork press photo

As much as I love new music, every year about this time I hit what we might call the Fall Wall, against which I'd rather rest with my own musical equivalents of autumnal comfort food (Van Morrison's "Astral Weeks," Joni Mitchell's "Blue," R.E.M.'s "Automatic for the People," and so on) than seek out the new and unknown.

Maybe it's the exhaustion of nine full months of chasing fresh finds, or maybe it's my internal workings responding to the strain of sunlight that only October afternoons can produce -- not that I'm not allowed a little "Autumn Sweater" here and there, but I admit it: new music becomes a bit of a chore.

Luckily, the month rolls in along with plenty of new musical inspiration and you'll find lots to love on this month's playlist (entirely pumpkin spice-free!). As usual, there are plenty of familiar faces returning among the latest crop. This includes "Los Ageless," the fantastic second cut from St. Vincent's recently-announced "Masseduction," which finds her going in some interesting new new wave directions. The full record is out this month.

Another welcome return comes from Björk, who's described her upcoming album "Utopia" as her "Tinder album." A first taste recently came in the form of "The Gate," which arrived alongside a stunning video in which she dons a custom Gucci-made dress for the occasion.

That record will be out in November, as will "Low in High School" from Morrissey, who has announced a Denver show just three days after its release -- Nov. 20 at the Paramount Theater. "Spent The Day In Bed" is not just the first sentence tweeted out from his long overdue official Twitter account, but also the title of the record's first single.

Want more familiarity? Don't miss wonderful new tracks from Destroyer, LCD Soundsystem, Ariel Pink and Benjamin Clementine, who follows up his Mercury Prize-winning debut with a far more wide-ranging and experimental effort titled "I Tell a Fly."

Fresh faces this month are led by Moses Sumney, who's had everyone talking over the past couple of weeks with his full-length debut, "Aromanticism." It's a record that makes good and the some on the promise shown on his first pair of EPs, including last year's "Lamentations." "Don't Bother Calling," the cut included here, is a good representative of the mood, sparse instrumentation and vocal prowess that runs the course of the album.

Also perking ears and turning heads is North Carolina-based rapper and wordsmith Rapsody. Her sophomore record "Laila's Wisdom" fittingly starts with the strains of Aretha Franklin singing "(To Be) Young, Gifted And Black," sampling the song to great effect on the title track. Guest spots include the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Anderson .Paak on what sounds like it could be the emergence of a strong new voice.

Don't miss new cuts from the likes of Mo Troper, Alex Lahey and Caroline Says, as well as Denver's own Kerstan Wallace and Kyle Emerson, each of whom are past CPR's OpenAir in-studio guests and have fine new full-lengths out.

Still more random smatterings from this month's playlist include:

  • Howard Ivans, which is actually the relatively new recording name of former Rosebuds singer Ivan Howard. Much like his old band, he delivers breezy, melodic, autumnal pop on a new record called "Beautiful Tired Bodies."
  • The return of liv, the Swedish supergroup who teased us with a fantastic debut single last year, and consists of Lykke Li, Andrew Wyatt and Pontus Winnberg (both of Miike Snow), and Björn Yttling of Peter, Björn and John. Hopefully, this means an album is forthcoming.
  • Kyle Craft's take on Karen Dalton's classic "Something on Your Mind," which comes from a series of 2-track singles called "Girl Crazy." Craft shows impressive range over the course of the ten covers, which also includes takes on originals by St. Vincent, Blondie, Patti Smith and Patsy Cline, among others.

And take a breath. Upset a pile of leaves. Listen on shuffle. Another seasonal harvest in your waking life.