A playlist for cold nights, warm fires and early sunsets.
The weather is changing in our particular corner of the world, transitioning from the mild coolness of autumn to the chill of winter with a rapidity that feels unlike years past. What is this feeling that every season is somehow worse than the last, hurtling us towards an apocalyptic scorched Earth future where only Arnold Schwarzenegger’s aged robotic corpse can save us from certain doom? Is it a symptom of the changing climate and weather systems of our world or changes within us, brought on by experience, aging and the unflappable progression of time. Maybe none of this real and our reality is being delivered via a fantastically crafted simulation? We’re pretty firmly on the side of science in this argument here at 55 Cities. The climate change part, not necessarily the “Matrix” part, but that would explain, to some extent, why Disney+ was necessary and “VSCO girls” exist. Like everything else, it’s probably a combination of both sentiments that makes the slide into winter each year feel so very different from the last and basically, like, the harshest thing ever. Totally. “Ok, boomer.”
One thing is for certain, the sun cycles at this time of year make it clear why the term “golden hour” was created. The sky has exploded with color and clarity from the crisp air and earlier sundown timetable. It’s a beautiful sight to see and well worth breaking out your favorite camera to capture a few images.
It’s with these ideas in mind that we present a new playlist for the month of November. The urges to curl into piles of blankets (or blanket forts), put on large, sweat inducing sweaters that are clearly made for the outdoors and not offices, and a strange, unquenchable craving for hot (or at least warm) booze begins to reawaken within us. We’ve purposefully steered clear of including any holiday tracks, since that hell’s beast of holiday commerce will be rushing at us in leviathan-esque proportions from every media outlet before the month is out. Instead we’ve focused on tracks that have a blanket and warm alcohol feeling, some introspective and quiet, while others funky enough to make you want to get up and shake the cold out.
You may also notice that we’ve included a few tracks with a decidedly 1970s film jazz vibe, such as “Condor!” and “Get Carter.” These are the themes from two brilliant thrillers from the first half of the 1970s, Three Days of the Condor, starring Robert Redford and Get Carter, starring Michael Caine. They are gritty, beautiful films that feature twisting plots and intriguing characters that aren’t great people, but convey a human complexity that is doesn’t always come across on screen. These films become staples for me in this season, partly because they’re great stories of espionage and double cross, and they feature New York City and northeastern England in winter. They are fine viewing while you’re knocking back a warm glass of your favorite beverage or setting up camp in your blanket pile.
As usual, check out more about the artists below by hitting the links in the track list and let us know what you think in the comments below.
- The Safecracker – The City Champs
- Pass The Peas – The J.B.’s
- Get Together – Tony Allen
- And Through The Wire – Peter Gabriel
- A New Career in a New Town – David Bowie
- Talkin’ Loud And Sayin’ Nothin’ – Pt. 1 – James Brown
- Get Carter Main Theme – Roy Budd, L’Orchestra Cinematique
- Melodys Actual Echo Chamber – The Brian Jonestown Massacre
- Africa Centre of the World – Edit – Fela Kuti, Roy Ayers
- Twilight In Boston – Jonathan Richman
- Make Them Dance – Defunkt
- Run To Your Mama – Goat
- Condor! – Dave Grusin
- By This River – Brian Eno
- You’ve Got a Friend – Live Version – Donny Hathaway
- Tokyo Rush – Haruomi Hosono, The Yellow Magic Band
- Katherine – The Durutti Column
- Babylon – Oneohtrix Point Never, (Sandy) Alex G
- Tunnels In The Air – Louis Cole, Thundercat
- Before the Water Gets Too High – Parquet Courts
- Definition – Kruder & Dorfmeister
- Everyday – Gil Scott-Heron
©2019 55 Cities
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