5 Picks for Your Autumn NMT Playlist
It’s finally autumn. The leaves are changing their colors and falling from the trees. The days are getting shorter, and the air is getting cooler. If you’re anything like me, then the fall atmosphere puts you in a very mellow and lethargic state. My mind likes to hibernate this time of year, and when that happens I like to turn on some mellow contemporary musical theatre. What follows are some suggestions for your musical theatre playlist this fall. Happy listening!
With music by Matt Sax, book by Eric Rosen, and lyrics by Sax and Rosen, Venice tells the story of a dystopian future with a hip-hop influenced score. In between the more intense, upbeat numbers are some very nice ballads, such as “Willow” and “If Only,” which are both performed on the cast album by Jennifer Damiano. “Waited All These Years,” while not a ballad, is a softer upbeat tune perfect for a mellow playlist. Definitely check out the whole album, but those three tunes are ideal for relaxation.
Our First Mistake is the first album of songs by Kerrigan and Lowdermilk. The album features a few up-tempo songs, but a majority of the songs are slower ballads and story songs ideal for a hazy afternoon. “Not a Love Story,” “How to Return Home,” and “Run Away With Me” are a few of the standouts, but the entire album makes for perfect autumnal listening. The songs are performed beautifully by first-rate performers like Kelli O’Hara, Matt Doyle, and Laura Osnes, among others. If you haven’t heard it yet, you probably should do so right now.
Ryan Scott Oliver’s “musical exhibition” is made up of mostly fast-paced songs in a punk rock style. However, the show’s slower songs make for some easy listening. “The Seraph” is one of my personal favorites, with its singer/songwriter style and driving guitar-only accompaniment. Other songs of note include “Cut You a Piece,” “Hemming and Hawing,” and “The Party Goes With You.”
Jason Robert Brown and Marsha Norman’s adaptation of Robert James Waller’s novel had a short life on Broadway. Luckily, the score was recorded, and the cast album features songs with soaring melodies and lush harmonies. The songs written for the character of Robert – particularly, “It All Fades Away” and “Wondering” – always seem to find their way into my playlists. The first act duet “Falling Into You” is another great choice for a mellow playlist.
This musical features a score by Michael John LaChiusa that is made up of songs strongly influenced by the styles of early American music. After a run at the Public Theatre, the vast score to Giant was recorded, and the cast album includes two of my favorite musical theatre songs. “He Wanted a Girl,” sung by the exceptional Katie Thompson, is a gorgeous song of unrequited love, while “Heartbreak Country” is a beautiful duet between two lovers about their love for the land and each other. “Your Texas,” sung by Kate Baldwin, is also essential for your playlist. I recommend the whole album, but those three tracks make for great fall listening.
So, the next time you’re feeling a little tired and the sky outside is hazy, check out these tunes. Hopefully you’ll find them as relaxing as I do.
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