Within the past few weeks, I’ve read articles about the value of finding a career you love, finding a “vocation” versus a “career,” and choosing to
Fall is here. It’s time to trade out your lightweight t-shirts, cold brew, and surfboards for your favorite sweater, lattes, and decorative gourds. But just because the weather is changing doesn’t mean your busy schedule gets put on hold. You’re still going to be grinding it out over the occasional long night. It only makes sense that you have some good music to accompany you on your freelance journey. Swap your BEST OF SUMMER ‘16 WHOOOO!!! playlist for the understated sounds of Autumn. Here are a few tracks to get you started.
The Freelance Fall Playlist
Autumn Leaves (Cannonball Adderley)
There are so many different recordings of this song, each with their own distinct vibe. After a couple listenings, you’ll more than likely have your own favorite, at which point you should just keep that on repeat. But until that time comes, rock with this one— a gem from Cannonball Adderley and Miles Davis. It has a leisurely feel that will ease you into whatever projects you have lined up for the day, or keep you solid company on a walk through the park when you need to clear your head. It doesn’t hurt that it can also turn your kitchen into your favorite coffee joint, either.
So Far to Go – Instrumental (J Dilla)
Turn on this instrumental version of this J Dilla classic once you feel yourself back on the up. It’s so uplifting, like a sunny fall morning. The keys that begin to appear around the halfway mark are like rays of sunlight cutting through the shades and spilling onto your living room floor. The beat is exactly what you need when you know there’s a long day ahead of you, but you’re more than ready to take it with the cool confidence that matches the brisk weather outside.
Heard Them Stirring (Fleet Foxes)
Do you know why this song is so brilliant? Because it sounds like the Fleet Foxes stepped into the studio to answer one question: How can we capture the sonic essence of flannel, pumpkin spice, crunching leaves, and an assortment of stews bubbling on the stove? And boy did they succeed. With just a chorus of a few “oohs” and “aahs”, a tambourine, and a steady guitar line, the band proved you don’t need to actually say anything to dedicate a song to the best season of the year. No shade; it just works.
Idle Moments (Grant Green)
A freelancer’s lifestyle is an unpredictable one. Clients can be evasive, payments late, or you could just hit a dreaded mental wall. During those times, you probably wish you could stop time. You can’t (yet), but you can do the next best thing with “Idle Moments”. Grant Green’s guitar wraps you up in a blanket of cool sound and slows it all down. Do some stretches or deep breathing exercises and remind yourself that at the end of the day, it’s you who is in control.
5 bit Blues (DJ Koala)
The beauty of the blues is its use as musical therapy. If you’ve ever experienced a problem of any stripe— spurned love, empty pockets, a client from hell— you can sing a blues tune. It’s probably the most relatable genre of music. So for the times when freelancing just isn’t going your way and seem a bit out of control, enjoy this blues with a twist. The lo-fi sound and chopped up samples make this fit to blast through your speakers when things ain’t looking all too great.
Autumn in New York (Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong)
“It’s Autumn in New York, that brings the promise of new love…” It’s officially cuffing season; time to get close with that pile of work staring you down. Just kidding. Like “Autumn Leaves”, “Autumn in New York” is a throwback pop standard, and there are more recordings of that song than there are Kardashian siblings. This particular version is way too cozy to have on in the background while you do work. But if you’ve treated yourself to a generous grocery haul, spent quality time over the stove, and plate your meal like a pro? There is no better song to play when you dine with the lights down low alongside a friend, lover, or your own mind.
Autumn (Antonio Vivaldi, performed by Midori Seilers)
Come on, this song is literally called “Autumn”; there’s no way it’s not making it on this list. Baroque music has been shown to boost productivity at work, so why not take full advantage of that with this Vivaldi deep cut? It’s a spritely tune that will keep pace during your most active brainstorming sessions. There’s a good chance you’ve heard this before in a movie or commercial, but this recording is a bit more experimental in approach. Part of what makes it so special and somewhat unfamiliar is the fact that the music is played on period instruments, and Seilers gives the Violin parts a fresh interpretation.
It’s not the best time to go looking for trouble when you’ve got deadlines to meet. Let Quadron to it for you. When you’ve just gotten paid, landed a new contract, or generally just enjoying the feeling of having your act together and priorities straight, toss this song on. It doesn’t sound too wild, but don’t let the vibes mislead you. It’s actually kind of weird to listen to a song about going super hard when it sounds this chill. So turn it up, relax, and reap the benefits of your productivity streak.