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Autumn may have have arrived, and many of us feel stuck in a post-summer malaise. Temperatures have dropped, plant life has withered, moods have grown solemn; overall there’s a sense of uneasy transition.

But what better vehicle than the ballad to accompany this seasonal shift? (Ballads of the most wayward persuasion, mind.)

These tunes are scorch-the-earth serenades led astray by tonal trickery. Whether incanting ghosts of the long departed (as heard in Shirley Collins’ ‘Cruel Lincoln’), or making bizarre allusions to mystical unicorns (like in Peter Grudzien’s ‘The Unicorn’), the tracks that make up this week’s playlist speak to disorientation and longing for times past.

Like the seasonal hinterland we find ourselves in, such songs also reside at the latter end of a high, when sobriety is in the not too distant future, but the world around you is still yet to adjust.

This playlist is solemn but unworldly — imagination is allowed free reign. It’s the ideal soundtrack for your autumnal blues.

Happy toking!

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