October 15, 2010

Autumn leaves, autumn stays: Fuel/Friends Fall 2010 mix


I’ve been unabashedly reveling in every morning where we evade the chill for one more day, where I can ride my bike to work in a skirt and short sleeve shirt, where I can sit on the porch after dinner and not feel that mercury drop and the gooseflesh form. But hey — all that stopped early this week, with a final burst of indian summer and the subsequent autumn arrival. Time for scarves and cider and music that makes me feel thoughtful, wistful, warm.

Once the inspiration hit, this mix was almost harder than the summer mix I made. Summer mixes are all about toe-tapping fun and driving around with the windows down, singing along at full volume. In examining my iTunes library, I realized that perhaps I am drawn intrinsically, year-round to this sort of autumnal music, those songs with heft and subtle strength and acoustic coziness, maybe of the hippie beards-and-sweaters variety.

As much as I love the hot days of summer, I do look forward to the quiet introspection of fall.


One Of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later) – Bob Dylan
Because, for me, there’s no other artist that evokes autumn for me as thoroughly and immediately as Dylan. The organ crescendo in this song feels like an October carnival, exploding with caramel apples and the smell of leaves burning.

Slow Dance – Coco et Co.
This duo from Montreal has woven together a rich and gorgeous album, the sparse iciness of melody here anchored by the warm Springsteenesque timbre of Andrew Sisk and the interwoven frost of Miranda Durka. It’s autumn and winter in one song. You can get their album here for $5.

Down In The Valley – The Head And The Heart
I cannot say enough good things about these guys. This song from their self-titled debut (easily one of my favorites of the year) is steeped in referential nods to all sorts of old, good country songs and emanates a road-weary ennui. The violin also breaks my heart. I’m presenting their Nov 5th show in Denver: stay tuned for a ticket giveaway next week!

The Gospel Song – Magnet
Magnet (Even Johansen) warms his native Norway nights with this substantial stomping, clapping, banjo-laced gem.

The Dreamer – The Tallest Man on Earth
These days can feel too short, too dark by the time we get off work, and we need a reminder that sometimes the blues is just a passing bird.

All Through Montana – John Craigie
Remember that warm seeping feeling in your chest when you first listened to the magnificent slow burn of “Orange Sky“? This song (from San Francisco songwriter John Craigie) infuses a distinctly Western-landscape haze into that sensation. I love this song.

Bare Bones and Branches – Lewis & Clarke
One original review of this album in ’03 called it “the perfect autumnal album.” I agree.

Sold – Dan Mangan
This gorgeous, smart album and Dan’s oaky, warm voice have been a major part of my last few months and I don’t plan to stop.

The Void – Jay Farrar & Ben Gibbard
This atmospheric song from the Kerouac-inspired ode from Gibbard and Farrar makes me taste fog and smell pine trees on the California coast.

Sin-Eaters (b-side) – The National
A tremendous b-side from the expanded version of High Violet (coming next month), all tension and velvet. This feels to me like a preface to the sadness of “Runaway.”

Five Years Coming – Cataldo
A small, bright spot of sunshine through the grey clouds: “the simple songs of hope I wrote have always been my best.”

Si, Paloma – Sun Kil Moon
A reader suggested this intricate instrumental as the perfect fall song and I concur.

Burning Stars – Mimicking Birds
This Portland trio crafts lo-fi, compelling music that I love. Fittingly recorded in a bedroom, as a home demo.

Transformation (live at eTown) – David Gray
David Gray has always felt like an October artist to me (or maybe January, but that’s another mix altogether). This melancholy piano song is fitting for this time of year when everything is being transformed by the chill.

Unwritable Girl – Gregory Alan Isakov
Boulder’s bright star Gregory Alan Isakov injects a knowing, earnest rusticism into the mix.

What We Gained In The Fire – The Mynabirds
This Saddle Creek band recorded their stellar debut album with lots of whiskey and dancing in an Oregon hillside cabin. That sounds like an excellent fall weekend.

Passing Afternoon – Iron & Wine
Autumn blew the quilt right off the perfect bed she made / And she’s chosen to believe in the hymns her mother sings / Sunday pulls its children from their piles of fallen leaves.” Autumn isn’t autumn without Iron & Wine, yes?

Come Talk To Me (Peter Gabriel) – Bon Iver
Or Bon Iver as well? This cover is from the Record Store Day split 7″ I bought and have surely worn a groove in by now, a slow and haunting cover, with plucking banjo that sounds for all the world like rain on a tin roof.

Paint a Face – Neil Halstead
An acoustic folk album full of slow-reveal hues from this former Slowdive frontman, this was one of my favorites of 2008 and I always pull it out when the leaves start to change.

Helpless (live) – Neil Young
“There is a town in north Ontario”…. sweet jesus, talk about the high and lonesome sound — I think that tinkling piano with the piercing lone harmonica together at around 3:00 on this live version just about does me in for good. “Blue, blue windows behind the stars, yellow moon on the rise / Big birds flying across the sky, throwing shadows on our eyes….”

Rambling Man – Laura Marling
Like a wise Joni Mitchell in fresh 20-year-old skin, Laura Marling wows the socks off me.

Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight (Beatles) – Mumford & Sons
I can go for the Mumford & Sons sound any time of year, but they are coming to Denver at the end of this month and I am looking forward to it as a contender for show of this season (their Telluride one surely was for summer).

Storm Window (John Prine) – Josh Ritter
Folk perfection, the musical marriage of these two. “I can hear the wheels of the automobiles so far away, just moving along through the drifting snow / It’s times like these when the temperatures freeze, I sit alone just looking at the world through a storm window.” [bonus]

We Are The Tide (unreleased, live) – Blind Pilot
Blind Pilot’s smoky, rootsy, bittersweet warmth made them a shoo-in for this mix, and I was excited to find this new song that they’ve been playing live. This was recorded at MusicFestNW in Portland.

November Blue (Scott solo acoustic) – Avett Brothers
This runs me through — every. single. time. (Watch it here)

Post-War – M. Ward
One of the most perfect “slow-dance in stocking feet, finish your whiskey while you rest your head on my chest” songs that M. Ward has ever written.

It All Comes Right (Doe Bay Session) – Drew Grow & The Pastors’ Wives
This is one of my new favorite bands, and this singalong version of the closing track on their scuzzy, gospelly, phenomenally-good debut album is everything I want in music. Stay tuned this week for details of a house show I am throwing with them on November 4th!


[cover image credit the marvelous Dave Kurtz, from Bocumast Design & Records here in Denver, whom I adore and owe cookies to. But no chocolate.]


  • Lovely.

    Dan — October 15, 2010 @ 7:26 pm

  • Great list. Thanks :)

    thirtyonekm — October 15, 2010 @ 8:34 pm

  • Very nice, thanks for the upload.

    Jac — October 15, 2010 @ 11:39 pm

  • Is it sad that this just made my weekend? I can’t wait to dig into the artists unbeknownst to me and am so excited to hear the Blind Pilot and The National rarities, I’m gonna go buy me some cider right now. About half the bands I never heard of in your summer mix made it into my regular rotation.

    Christof — October 16, 2010 @ 4:03 am

  • Nice stuff – thanks for posting.

    Curt Shannon — October 16, 2010 @ 5:20 am

  • Great mix, filled with songs I know and love, songs by artists I know and love, and new tunes and artists to explore. Thanks so much. FWIW, there was a “title track” out there that might have worked well, Rickie Lee Jones’ “Autumn Leaves.”

    argo0 — October 16, 2010 @ 7:41 am

  • [...] I appreciate mp3 blogs that make an effort to keep the mixtape alive. Any old blog can post a song or two each day that shows up in their inbox, or that they found on Hype Machine, but it takes legitimate effort to craft a mix, paying attention to order and mood. So here’s a fall mix from I am Fuel, You are Friends. [...]

    Your Saturday Antivirals « Pop Culture Has AIDS — October 16, 2010 @ 7:50 am

  • This mix is so awesome!! Thank you for having such great taste :)

    Cindy — October 16, 2010 @ 9:37 am

  • This is so perfect, Heather. :) Thanks!

    mandy — October 16, 2010 @ 10:54 am

  • This is completely awesome.

    JD — October 16, 2010 @ 1:24 pm

  • I found your site via The Head & the Heart’s FB page and wall post about your fall mix. You have a great ear! Thanks for sharing. The format rocks!

    Rochelle — October 16, 2010 @ 2:46 pm

  • you really tapped into the universal there. gorgeous.

    daniel rubin — October 16, 2010 @ 2:57 pm

  • Hooray, been looking forward to a new mix from you! Looks like some fantastic names, can’t wait to have a listen!

    Marisa — October 16, 2010 @ 3:43 pm

  • Perfect.

    Spookycat — October 16, 2010 @ 6:32 pm

  • Great mix with good flow, Heather! Happy to see John Craigie on here – totally underrated and really great choice of song from him.

    Mark from Reno — October 16, 2010 @ 10:28 pm

  • you always have the best posts. when you do a mix, it’s something so magical. keep on rockin’!

    chris — October 17, 2010 @ 6:41 am

  • Thanks for this lovely mix. It’s the perfect background to some butternut-squash-ginger soup making on this fine fall day in Baltimore.

    Mary — October 17, 2010 @ 7:50 am

  • This was the soundtrack to my Oktoberfest party in my backyard last night. It was a hit, my party and your soundtrack. Thanks!

    SteveO — October 17, 2010 @ 8:44 am

  • Fantastic! Thanks so much. :)

    Matt — October 17, 2010 @ 8:48 am

  • Bravo Heather!

    Harb — October 17, 2010 @ 9:28 am

  • Truly a great mix Heather! What album did the Josh Ritter track come from, or is it just a live cover?

    Paul — October 17, 2010 @ 11:11 am

  • it’s a live version from “SXSW 2006″ (all the info I have on it….)

    browneheather — October 17, 2010 @ 11:14 am

  • Yes! I’ve been waiting for this since the summer (sad but true). Very nice work!

    Frankel — October 17, 2010 @ 12:01 pm

  • Great mix Thank you!

    Tyler — October 17, 2010 @ 12:03 pm

  • Right on!



    Todd — October 17, 2010 @ 12:37 pm

  • Absolutely fantastic mix. ‘We are the Tide’ has been a favorite of mine since you posted it last year (granted it wasn’t very high quality, but the elements are there where you just know it’s a killer song). Also, just saw Sam Beam (with Rosie Thomas backing along with his friend Rob) last week in Iowa City and you’re right, there really is nothing better than Iron and Wine in the fall (and judging by the few new songs he played, his new album is going to be gorgeous). Thanks again for this, it’s great (and glad I could contribute a little bit).

    Adam — October 17, 2010 @ 2:31 pm

  • Adam — THANKS for the Si, Paloma rec. Just perfect.

    browneheather — October 17, 2010 @ 2:40 pm

  • Did you know the wife, baby, and I are heading to Portland for a fall roadie next week? Nice timing! Thanks for the soundtrack to our trip. I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate your blog and the great music that comes with it. In return for your generosity, I’ll root for your Giants to win the World Series this year :)

    Jonathan — October 17, 2010 @ 2:50 pm

  • Joni:

    I awoke today and found the frost perched on the town
    It hovered in a frozen sky, then it gobbled summer down
    When the sun turns traitor cold
    And shivering trees are standing in a naked row
    I get the urge for going but I never seem to go

    I get the urge for going
    When the meadow grass is turning brown
    Summertime is falling down and winter is closing in

    I had me a man in summertime
    He had summer-colored skin
    And not another girl in town
    My darling’s heart could win
    But when the leaves fell trembling down
    Bully winds did rub their faces in the snow
    He got the urge for going And I had to let him go

    He got the urge for going
    When the meadow grass was turning brown
    Summertime was falling down and winter was closing in

    The warriors of winter they gave a cold triumphant shout
    And all that stays is dying and all that lives is getting out
    See the geese in chevron flight flapping and racing on before the snow
    They’ve got the urge for going, they’ve got the wings to go

    They get the urge for going
    When the meadow grass is turning brown
    Summertime is falling down and winter is closing in

    I’ll ply the fire with kindling and pull the blankets to my chin
    And I’ll lock the vagrant winter out and bolt my wandering in
    I’d like to call back summertime and have her stay jut another month or so
    She’s got the urge for going and I guess she’ll have to go

    And she get the urge for going when meadow grass is turning brown
    All her empires are falling down
    Winter’s closing in

    DF — October 17, 2010 @ 2:54 pm

  • I love your mixes. On other blogs I listen first and pick specific songs, but I know with yours I can do the whole thing and be happy. =]

    Shiella — October 17, 2010 @ 7:35 pm

  • [...] to my attention these past few days. Heather over at I Am Fuel, You Are Friends has a 20+ track Autumn Leaves, Autumn Stays mix available, and Motel De Moka also offers up Hello Autumn! for your listening [...]

    Autumn mixtape linkage « It All Started With Carbon Monoxide — October 18, 2010 @ 7:03 am

  • The link to the mixtape seems to be broken now, and it hurts my heart. This is a splendid collection.

    Wade — October 18, 2010 @ 9:54 am

  • GREAT GREAT job again. The Josh Ritter inclusion, especially! I’ve been listening to the Jeffrey Foucault cover of this song a lot lately, and had totally forgotten about this cover! Here’s hoping the storm windows stay up for another couple of weeks.

    ForTheShorties — October 18, 2010 @ 12:09 pm

  • link broken, help!!!

    smh — October 18, 2010 @ 12:38 pm

  • This mix looks fantastic, I can’t wait to listen!

    Sarah — October 18, 2010 @ 1:05 pm

  • Very lovely mix. Based on your selections I think you would really like Matthew and the Atlas. I would start with the song I Will Remain. I fell in love with it after one listen and I think you might too.

    BB — October 18, 2010 @ 1:37 pm

  • The link is fixed now for sure. Server error. Enjoy.

    browneheather — October 18, 2010 @ 2:00 pm

  • This really is a mix of awesomeness. Thanks for a nice soundtrack for today and for many other fall days, and for turning me on to some wonderful new artists and songs.

    Jeff — October 18, 2010 @ 2:18 pm

  • BB/chris – I DO love it. Thanks!!

    browneheather — October 19, 2010 @ 10:16 am

  • [...] am Fuel, You are Friends put up an autumn mix playlist. 0 [...]

    Afternoon Showers: Seriously Taylor? « — October 19, 2010 @ 2:53 pm

  • Thanks so much.

    teapot — October 19, 2010 @ 8:47 pm

  • THanks!

    SMH — October 20, 2010 @ 9:47 am

  • Thanks for the great mix. “Scattered Leaves” by The Be Good Tanyas is another amazing fall song, one that stirs the ambivalent emotions of transition.

    Ktkling — October 20, 2010 @ 12:21 pm

  • Thank u for the great music. I really like the song:
    “autumn” by paolo nutini. Reminds me of my father (who also passed away in autumn of 2006)

    Justin — October 20, 2010 @ 1:06 pm

  • Heather, you are an angel. This post is priceless. Keep them coming!

    Urileye — October 20, 2010 @ 7:32 pm

  • Heading to my (20th!, yikes!) college reunion this weekend and am going to turn this up to “11″. ¡Mil gracias por compartir!

    Anne V. — October 20, 2010 @ 8:45 pm

  • [...] Download This: Fuel Friends Fall Mix: Autumn Leaves, Autumn Stays [...]

    Hidden Track » Bloggy Goodness: U2 + Danger Mouse — October 21, 2010 @ 12:01 pm

  • hey, thanks for putting up such a great mix and making it available to strangers. Much appreciated. And yeah, Autumn is the best time of year.

    Rakesh — October 24, 2010 @ 6:48 pm

  • thanks a lot – will listen to it on the bus riding to work at 7 am when it’s still (already still) pitchblack outside … cheers from the baltic sea

    kat — October 26, 2010 @ 2:40 pm

  • Fall is absolutely my favorite season. Something about the leaves changing and falling, the air and the chill, and of course, football, does something to me inside. Only just recently did I realize how well the Avett Brothers go with this season. The slow version of “November Blue” is one of my favorites. Genius props to you for including it!

    Richard — October 29, 2010 @ 9:52 am

  • Hey, I’m really interested to download the zip file of this mix but it doesn’t seem to be working. Any chance you could reupload it? That would be brilliant.

    Amanda — October 29, 2010 @ 1:26 pm

  • i think it is a server issue, as i haven’t removed the file. maybe try again tomorrow or later today?

    browneheather — October 29, 2010 @ 1:28 pm

  • Will do! Thanks so much for the quick reply, can’t wait to hear all the music.

    Amanda — October 29, 2010 @ 1:35 pm

  • I just wanted to say amazing play list! Love it! Thank you!!

    Josh — November 1, 2010 @ 4:06 pm

  • A man is not old as long as he is seeking something. A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.

    harley davidson — November 4, 2010 @ 6:15 am

  • [...] moment. I am Fuel, You are Friends recently released her mix for the autumn, and it’s superb! You can find it at her site and download it as a zip file. Her other mixes are pretty sweet as [...]

    i am fuel, you are friends. « FOURONEOH,SNAP — November 7, 2010 @ 4:34 pm

  • Thanks Heather. This mix looks great. Roadtriping to Chicago next weekend and now I Have some tunes

    Kev n STL — November 12, 2010 @ 8:19 pm

  • Great mix! Song selection is perfect and I love the flow.

    Christina — November 21, 2010 @ 1:52 pm

  • Now there’s snow everywhere and your mixtape is still amazing.. Such a beautiful soundtrack for cold days..

    Jendrik — December 6, 2010 @ 4:19 pm

  • Hey Heather,
    Just some new about MTL based Coco et Co. They recorded a nice cover of Sara Smile for our HeroHall & Oates year-end mix. Enjoy!


    herohill — December 20, 2010 @ 9:41 am

  • I have discovered so many new artists through your blog. I do believe, however, that The Tallest Man on Earth may just be my favorite, and this track is another great one! Thanks!

    Jodie — December 23, 2010 @ 10:06 am

  • [...] Remember how I wasn’t comfortable ranking songs?  Yeah, well, thanks to Heather over at Fuel/Friends, “All Through Montana” is the best song I’ve heard all year.  Seriously. (She [...]

    Happy New Year! — A 2010 “Retropackle.” | Shh, listen… — December 31, 2010 @ 11:29 am

  • [...] of High Violet.  Thanks to Heather Browne at Fuel/Friends for including this on her excellent Fall 2010 Mix and for making this day go by a little [...]

    Just in time for The National show: Sin-Eaters | I Listen So You Don't Have To — January 15, 2011 @ 4:22 pm

  • This list is incredible! Mumford and Sons, Laura Marling, Gregory Alan Isakov, M. Ward, Neil Young . . . thank you for opening my eyes to these songs. Great work!

    Michelle — January 26, 2011 @ 7:24 am

  • I would just like to thank you for this mix. It has been a fantastic thing to listen to on cold, foggy, rainy, dreary days. Such good music all bundled up.

    Cody — June 5, 2011 @ 11:55 pm

  • [...] I was listening to I am Fuel You Are Friends’ awesome Fall 2010 mix and was reminded of a band that they first introduced me to, The Head and the Heart. Since then, [...]

    The Head and the Heart – Down in the Valley | a line of blue — March 21, 2012 @ 4:03 pm

  • This is a perfect mix. Thanks for your work & I’m delighted by your impeccable taste.

    Margaret — August 31, 2012 @ 11:23 am

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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