Opinion by Joseph Nichols, Staff Writer
I don’t know about you, but I love fall. Walking on campus just feels refreshing as the leaves change from yellow to orange and red. I take time away from homework to watch football and toss a frisbee outside, and for the first time in a few months, I feel ready to begin annual traditions.
Every fall, I’ll do some of the classics: watch scary movies, visit pumpkin patches and set up a hammock outside. However, during this time, I also partake in my own tradition: listening to the band Raccoon Tour.
The band’s songs are geared toward both the Halloween season and the nostalgia of our childhood during fall, meaning I blast them this time of year.
Sure, it sounds a little odd, but hear me out. It’s far too easy to get burnt out on the same songs and feel that we are cycling through carboncopy playlists on repeat. Sectioning off the same time of the year to listen to their songs feels like visiting an old friend.
The band, which originated in Boise, Idaho as a senior year school project, has an eccentric sound. It feels like a beautiful blend of alternative indie, a sprinkle of ‘60s garage bands and just a taste of Barenaked Ladies’ existentialism.
Lead vocalist and band founder Nathan Burr stated, “Yeah, that stuff (the beginning of school) really bleeds into making the fall an emotional and volatile period along with the aesthetics of the season, the falling leaves starting to slow down as a kid. You kind of fall back into the routine.”
Like Burr, fall is a time of immense nostalgia for me. I reread a few of my fall-favorite short stories and watch a couple of movies to really get into that fall spirit. However, when I go home during fall and Thanksgiving break, the nostalgia really hits me like a wall and I remember a simpler time: Backyard football after school was always a must, only to be followed by leaf piles and some Gravity Falls.
Listening to Raccoon Tour when I’m already in a wave of nostalgia, really plucks at my heartstrings. There’s a unique dichotomy of remembering all those emotions, especially the dread of just wanting to make it to the next break.
A lot of Raccoon Tour’s music does have that sense of back-to-school mania; there’s always the good and the bad with the season.
On Burr’s own experience with how the emotions of fall led to the development of the band’s songs, he stated, “I have a well right here of these cherished memories, so why don’t I turn those into songs, since it comes from a place of sincerity? Hopefully, people will be like oh sh*t, this is real.”
Nowadays, fall seems to have undergone a divergent transformation: It’s not sincere. Halloweekend, for most college students, is a time to booze and forget about classes for a little while. Pong reigns supreme, and house parties try to escape the night without Norwood PD showing up. Sure, that’s a good time in my book, but sometimes it feels that we lose sight of the true meaning of fall spirit because we’re too preoccupied with what college students should be seen doing.
Raccoon Tour feels real and heartfelt; it’s a breath of fresh air during the Xavier Halloween season, which seems like it’s trying too hard to be Animal House.
College students specifically are at an awkward time where we’re not the directionless kids we were in high school, but the vast majority of us aren’t self-sufficient adults. Perhaps that’s why Raccoon Tour is so enjoyable: The band allows its audience to indulge in that middle ground. We’re not real adults yet, no matter how much we want to think so. Most of us still go to the Caf, after all.
Remembering and honoring that fascinating time in life when we could just exist in the world is a nice sentiment. We’re not kids — let’s not try to be. We’re also not adults, so let’s not try to be that either. Embrace that state of limbo we’re in for only a few years.
That class you feel you absolutely have to get an A in or that internship you’re gunning for? Stop worrying so much about it. Take a step back and probably drink more water. Let’s not worry about every seemingly insurmountable goal ahead of us and instead just enjoy this single moment right now.
Listen to Raccoon Tour. Their sole album, The Dentonweaver, is an ideal starting spot ahead of their singles. The music is an ode to an age past, our childhood and the numerous aspects of it we have forgotten about: namely the tenderness and warmth of the fall season juxtaposed with the back-to-school mania.
Raccoon Tour allows me to look back on those memories while also existing in this current state of existence in suspension between two points, with the band validating that space we find ourselves in: an amalgamation of counterculture, as well as “unpretentious Halloween-inspired nostalgia and coming-of-age shenanigans.”
So, let’s not be a counterfeit copy of ourselves and just embrace this fanatical hodgepodge of a world. In the words of Nathan Burr, “The world sucks. Everything costs way too much money. We’re all gonna die someday.” It seems like crap hits the fan just about every day; let’s mess around and find out.