Michael McFarland loves Cleveland music. So this August, the indie rock singer and house-show host launched ListenCLE.com, where he groups regional songs by mood on Spotify playlists, with themes such as “Chill” or “Energy Boost.” For peak #fallfeels, we asked McFarland to make a mixtape for an autumn drive.
Lowly, the Tree Ghost
Genre: Confessional Folk-Pop
“For me, fall is a time of new beginnings and transitions. This song has a great feel of get up, get going and don’t look back.”
Jul Big Green
Genre: Indie Rock Meets Hip-Hop
"This song just has a good driving groove to it, but also touches on those same themes of changes and transitions."
Genre: Eerie Singer-Songwriter
“One of my favorite voices in Cleveland, Stak’s ‘Black Magic’ has a little bit of that Halloween vibe.”
The Morning Bird
Genre: Wistful Alt-Country
"Another one of those new beginnings songs, it’s got that perfect midrange driving vibe."
“The Way You Say It”
Genre: Indie Art-Pop
"I just really like the energy of this pop-rock song, which is just like you’re cruising down the road on a crisp fall day."
“The Year Ahead”
Ray Flanagan & the Authorities
Genre: Midwest Blues-Folk
“This song follows the transitioning seasons, starting with fall, and says ‘Regardless of the what-ifs, I’m going to love you.’ ”
Genre: Acoustic R&B
"Benjamin merges that neosoul, alt and singer-songwriter vibe, like G. Love meets Damien Rice. It’s that perfect in-between vibe, not a summer song but still moving forward."
Genre: ’90s-Style Singer-Songwriter
“He’s all about the phrasing and emotion of the words, and this one fits so nicely with that autumn vibe.”
By Light We Loom
Genre: Husband and Wife Indie-Pop Duo
"This husband-wife duo’s song tells a story about the death of singer Eric Ling’s father. He wasn’t able to be by his father’s side. Someone asked, “Do you want us to let Eric know you love him?” “Oh, he knows,” Eric responded. I love the journey this track takes you on."
Genre: Epic Pop-Rock
"Probably the best known of any of the acts, Welshly Arms fits next to any of these acts. I don’t see anyone as 'in a different league.' This song is perfect for the end of our drive because it’s about finding sanctuary, arriving home to that place of peace."
Listen to the entire playlist here and learn more about Michael McFarland at michaelmcfarlandmusic.com: