Few artists capture the fall mood like Neil Young: Whether through short, radio-friendly songs like those that comprise his 1972 record Harvest, or through lengthy, instrumental jams like those found on his 1969 record Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere with the band Crazy Horse. Young’s early output has withstood the test of time, and while it can certainly be appreciated any time of year, his distinctive blend of rock, folk and country was seemingly tailor-made for the fall season.
Neil Young’s latest single with Crazy Horse, “Song Of The Seasons,” is possibly the hardest Young has ever leaned into the autumn aesthetic, with a folky instrumental palette that prominently features harmonica and accordion. Lyrically, Young is sentimental and poetic, reflecting on the beauty found both in nature and humanity. Musically, the six-minute song, laden with instrumental solos, is reminiscent of his early jam-heavy music with Crazy Horse, but it has strong forward momentum and doesn’t drag on as long as its runtime might suggest.
As another difficult year full of drastic changes winds down, it’s refreshing to know that Neil Young is essentially unchanged and still able to put out great music without abandoning the musical style he pioneered. Like most of his contemporaries, Young’s long career has had ups and downs, but right now he understands exactly what his fans want to hear and is executing it flawlessly. While Young’s latest song doesn’t necessarily reach the high artistic watermark he set in the 70s, he doesn’t need to: “Song Of The Seasons” is an authentic reflection on life and a perfect fall song.
Daily Arts Writer Jack Moeser can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.