What’s the Mood?: November

November is easily in my top three favorite months. Not that I’ve ranked them. Maybe I just really love Thanksgiving, or more specifically, Thanksgiving food. Maybe it’s the feeling of being in the home-stretch of the semester and getting increasingly closer to winter break. Maybe I’m just making this all up for the sake of this column. Regardless, here’s my playlist of funky fresh November tunes:

  1. “Beechwood Park” by The Zombies
  2. “Time of the Season” by The Zombies
  3. “The Start of Something” by Voxtrot
  4. “Rise Up In The Dirt” by Voxtrot
  5. “How Soon Is Now?” by the Smiths
  6. “Pulaski” by Andrew Bird
  7. “WHALE” by Yellow Ostrich
  8. “No. 28” by Methyl Ethel
  9. “Blood Under My Belt” by The Drums
  10. “If You’re Feeling Sinister” by Belle and Sebastian
  11. “Shuggie” by Foxygen
  12. “Aphasia” by Pinegrove

​I’ve been excited to write this column for quite some time now because some of my all-time favorites are in it. Let’s start off with the first two songs, both by the Zombies. They’re both on “Odessey and Oracle” (1968), which is unequivocally my favorite album. “Odessey and Oracle” is hallmark baroque pop, a genre that emerged in the mid-60s. It’s a mix of popular rock music and classical elements, which is why the album features a lot of organ and contrapuntal melodies. In addition to the upbeat, psychedelic and autumnal vibes throughout the album, there’s also a darker side to the album, apparent in songs like “Butcher’s Tale” (about World War I) and “A Rose For Emily” (inspired by a Faulkner short story about the death of a lonely woman), similar to The Turtles, who I talked about in the October column. If we look at this from an analytical standpoint, we can see that the melancholy of “Odessey and Oracle” directly connects to how sad I am that it’s now getting dark at 4:30 thanks to daylight savings. Also, in case you were interested, the artist who drew the album cover misspelled “Odyssey,” and the band just went with his misspelling, which is why the album is titled “Odessey and Oracle.”

​In addition to my favorite album, one of my favorite bands is featured on this playlist as well, Voxtrot. I’m going to be quite honest and admit that they fall squarely into a genre of music that can only be described as “angsty alternative white boys with guitars.” And while you might be thinking, “Isn’t that literally half of all modern music?” the genre I’m talking about has a pretty specific sound. I’m talking about bands like The Strokes, Weezer and of course, the Smiths. Voxtrot is just a lesser-known extension of that same brand of music, which all sound somewhat the same. That being said, the reason Voxtrot is one of my favorite bands is because of their ability to execute on that trite genre. Their songs are incredibly catchy and sometimes surprising, and they are great examples of the merits of the “angsty alternative white boys with guitars” genre. If you can get past the inevitable feeling of being a 21st-century version of a tragic John Hughes character when listening to them, Voxtrot is a super fun band to jam out to. See y’all next week.

You can listen to the playlist here: https://spoti.fi/2NDf7yc.


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