Not coincidentally, so is Neil Young's "Harvest." Besides the seasonally appropriate title, "Harvest" crackles with a somber yearning reminiscent of the fleeing summer. The title track teems with missed opportunity and things left unfinished, something I connect with the demise of summer. It definitely doesn't hurt that the album packaging color theme is brown and orange as well. "Heart of Gold" sounds pretty good sung by a fire in someone's backyard, but nothing matches Neil's cry played on warm vinyl.
Neil's declaration of being young but feeling like he's already lived a lifetime on "Old Man" echoes the weariness of the changing weather, fraught with predictability and overcast skies. "The Needle and the Damage Done" is depressingly reflective, but at the same time as quietly brilliant as the slow change of color in the landscape of trees on a mountainside. But the entire album isn't a complete downer: "Are You Ready for the Country?" matches the vibe of a wagon ride with a jug of fermented apple cider.
A little Neil Young folk in the fall is just enough to keep me going on my own quest for a heart of gold, and maybe a little liquor to warm my belly.
Discover more great autumn albums in our "Falling in Love With Music" series.