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Thread: SOTW: Autumn

  1. #1
    Let them eat cake! Yuki's Avatar
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    SOTW: Autumn

    I apologize for the shitty write up. I don't think I can quite begin to express adequately what this song means to me.



    Autumn was one of the very last songs that I got on HOOM; initially, it was overshadowed by showier stunners like In California, Go Long and the title track. At first I found it plodding and kind of tuneless, but I could sense, vaguely, that there was something special hidden beneath the surface. Somewhere along the way, that initial curiosity blossomed into full-on love.

    Autumn is one of my favorite songs by J.News, if not my absolute favorite. It isnt catchy or particularly striking at first, but its strength lies in its simplicity. Even lyrically, where Joanna is prone to verbosity and intricacy, she reins herself in this time. The results are, in my opinion, completely stunning. The comparative minimalism of the verbiage and starkness of the imagery really drive the emotional impact of the song home. I love the metaphor of Autumn as a slow, almost imperceptible death- of childhood, innocence, idealism, etc- and how that is reflected in the melancholy of the melody.

    Maybe I love the song so much because I can relate to it on a very personal level, much more than any of Joannas other songs. Strange, because with her evocation of particular imagery and setting, I think the song is meant to be specific to Joanna and her hometown. Outwardly, its about two things: her feelings of attachment/ nostalgia for her hometown, and the growing schism between her idealization of the past and the inevitable changes that both she and the town go through; she also writes about a relationship gone bad, which she escapes from/ copes with by returning to her roots, only to be forced to confront the ways in which shes changed.

    Still, she ends on an unequivocal note: When the final count is down/ I will be in my hometown. I think anyone whos grown up in a small or close-knit community can relate to the ethos of this song. I dont quite think Im doing it justice, but the way she captures the subtle pain of change, time, heartbreak and self-questioning, is just incredibly arresting, acute and insightful. Without being too TMI about my own personal issues, this song so captures my feelings about my inevitable departure from the Philippines (which I absolutely need to do, but which will break my heart completely) and my fathers mental illness/ refusal to take responsibility for himself. I feel like, if I had anywhere near Joannas IMMENSE capabilities as a poet/ composer, Id have written this song, you know? It speaks to me, and of me, probably more than any other song in my recent memory.

    Plus, the way she sings this song is so incredibly vulnerable and devastating, as though shes trying to keep a stiff upper lip in the onslaught of all her emotions, but shes obviously barely holding it together. As much as I miss her earlier, crazier vocals, I think her new voice is much more nuanced and expressive.

    So, Autumn: a stunning piece of work and, to me, a crowning achievement. Joanna just slays me every time I listen to it.

  2. #2
    whose wheels are squeaking arsonist samael's Avatar
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    My favourite off of HOOM, and quite possibly the last one I got into. It slays me too. Great job, Yuki.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Hannah.'s Avatar
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    I adore Autumn. I think that it really exemplifies Joanna's skill as a lyricist. The lyrics are simple compared to some of her other lyrics, but they are just as beautiful. Great post!

  4. #4
    Administrator Ryan's Avatar
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    I have got no control
    over my heart, over my mind.
    Over the hills, the rainclouds roll.
    I'll winter here, wait for a sign.
    This part, followed by the plucking of the harp, gets me every time. I found myself humming this the other night and had to play it several times the next day. Although I don't play the song very often, I do think it's one of her most beautiful melodies.

  5. #5
    They took the gay right out of me. Buelis's Avatar
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    Never really got into this song until I saw her play it in Amsterdam last year. I really enjoy the arrangement.

  6. #6
    condemned to wires and hammers ebby's Avatar
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    Today I was listening and this part:
    Friendly voices, dead and gone,
    singing, Star of the country down...
    made me wonder if it was a reference to the song "Star of the County Down"


    At the harvest fair, she’ll be surely there
    So I’ll dress in my Sunday clothes
    With my shoes shone bright and my hat cocked right
    For a smile from the nut brown rose
    No pipe I’ll smoke, no horse I’ll yoke
    Though my plough with the rust turns brown
    ’til a smiling bride by my own fireside
    Sits the star of the County Down

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