It's fall in New England - that most wonderful time of the year. With it comes that gorgeous foliage and an opportunity for Mass Mix contributors to ponder what the changing season means to them. Here's what they said.
Amber Sage, “All I Wanted”
The perfect blend of industrial synth, early 2000s pop, and lo-fi beats is revealed by Amber Sage and her truly angelic voice. In her new single “All I Wanted” the synths radiate a dark atmosphere with what sounds like a choir humming in a blissful meditative low pitch throughout the song. Amber Sage expresses her emotional torment from a shattered relationship. Her lyrics and the song aesthetic are based in a dark place; however, her voice is like a shining light revealing her truest freedom through music. “You’re trying to break me down and want me six feet underground” is the first line of the song and very straight to the point yet expressed fantastically. To compare Sage’s unique style, my first thought was as if Amy Lee of Evanescence collaborated with FILMMAKER, a DJ on Youtube. Her brand new single, “All I Wanted” is an absolute majestic dark gem. -Paul Zulla, writer for The Lowell Spin
This Is the Kit, “This Is What You Did”
As we step into the bracing chill of October, I suggest you warm yourself with the voice of Kate Stables, a musical hug if there ever was one. This Is the Kit songs feel like fairy tales; familiar with a bit of menace, perhaps like rolling into a pile of leaves and finding a rusty crowbar. "This Is What You Did" is about battling inner voices when they insist that everything is your fault and that this, all of this, is what you did. For Stables, facing those demons in a song is key to overcoming them. Despite several excellent records, the band has stayed small in the U.S. and last in Boston as the first act at Boston calling in spring 2017. Fingers crossed this is their time. Despite their inner doubts, they've never sounded more confident. -Phillip Jones, Afternoon Host, 88.9 WERS
Demi Adejuyigbe, "9/21/20"
For the last five years, I've marked the season with the release of Demi Adejuyigbe's genius remixes of Earth, Wind, and Fire's "September." The videos are hilarious, joy-inducing, and somehow make the song, which is already an earworm, even more sticky. Even better, as part of the videos, Demi raises money for worthy causes. Fun and philanthropy: now that's fall. -Jackie Bruleigh, Digital Marketing Manager, GBH
Velour 100, "Stare Into Light"
Fall is my favorite musical season. So many of the songs and albums I love have that distinct autumnal vibe, and I look forward to visiting with them at this time each year. The album that I always start with is fittingly titled Fall Sounds. It's by a lesser-known act from Michigan called Velour 100. They were active in the mid-to-late '90s and are often grouped into the dream-pop genre. Listen to the leadoff cut from Fall Sounds and you'll understand why. "Stare Into Light" feels like waking up from a warm dream, wrapped snugly in your blanket on a cool fall morning. -Adam 12, Weekdays 11a-4p, ROCK 92.9
FINNEAS, “What They'll Say About Us”
In normal times, fall is my favorite season by far — you can't beat foliage and that crisp breeze. But this year, fall isn't quite as joyous, which has me looking for more somber music. So I was glad to come across this song by Finneas, brother to mega-star Billie Eilish. He also produced her album, and it's clear he's a talent in his own right. "I kind of wrote this song as if you were singing to your loved one who was in a hospital bed while the world was protesting outside," he said. "I did make a point to keep the song fairly ambiguous because I know everybody's going through different circumstances of the same things right now." It's a beautiful tribute to victims of dual tragedies — the coronavirus pandemic and centuries of racial injustice highlighted by the Black Lives Matter movement. -Meghan Smith, Digital Producer, GBH
Maren Morris, "Better Than We Found It"
I've been listening to Maren Morris' timely new political ballad "Better Than We Found It" on repeat. Its message is a clear call to action to confront the many ugly sides to our current society, including racism and political strife: "When lines of tomorrow are drawn/ Can I live with the side that I chose to be on?/ Will we sit on our heads, do nothing about it/ Or will we leave this world better than we found it?" At once, her tone is hopeful, reflective, urgent, and accusatory — a complicated space that really resonates with me personally right now. She concludes the emotional song — which was released just one month ahead of the 2020 presidential election — with this dire warning: "America, America/ Divided we fall." -Ellen London, Senior Editor, GBH
Soccer Mommy, "stain"
There's something about the lo-fi beats and bright, guitar-picked melodies of Soccer Mommy that make them a perfect reflection of grey days shot through with the bright leaves of fall. So, while her latest album, Color Theory, came out this past February, I haven't found myself really listening to it much until now. Introspective and personal, this album remains close to the sound of her earlier Clean but offers more depth lyrically. The hyper-personal lyrics are deeply vulnerable, dealing with self-consciousness, loss, and burn out. And while the album is of a piece, with the songs sliding into and through each other — much like Clean — it's the song "stain" that really grabs me off this album. Ethereal, and set in lower tones than much of the rest of the album, the song is haunted, sad, and moody, bringing to mind Elliot Smith or Soléy as it sings us through the dying days of a bad relationship. If the rest of the album is an autumnal day, this song is a rainy day at the cusp of winter, cold and dark — and that's what makes it so special. -Andrea Wolanin, Senior Producer, GBH
Fall is my favorite season, and appropriately the one that empowers me to declutter my life and unwanted feelings that have built up throughout the year. I also tend to renew my playlists. Right now, I can't stop listening to beabadobee's "Care," an emotionally-charged song that confronts the vulnerability of the past with raw courage, all while perfectly capturing the beloved power-pop guitar riffs of the mid-90s. It's powerful and carefree — a tune brimming with a brisk agency that's so energizing, I can't help but compare it to the feeling of that first breath of autumnal fall air. -Stacy Buchanan, Managing Producer, Arts & Culture, GBH