As we approach November and the weather is getting colder, a good fall playlist is nearly imperative for every moment. Whether it’s walking through campus to get to class, waiting for the Stag bus or driving to get weekly dinner with your roommates, you need the perfect music to match the tone. Here is a list of songs that make you appreciate the beauty in the changing of the leaves and be able to tolerate the brisk fall air.
“Angela” by The Lumineeres
You could choose any song by The Lumineeres to set the mood for fall, but “Angela” just happens to be perfect. There’s something so poetic in the poignancy of its lyrics and the slow build to the bridge, that makes this song special and you never get tired of listening to it.
“Million Years Ago” by Adele
We are so used to Adele and her piano that for a moment it almost feels strange to hear those minor guitar chords pierce through (even though that was the sound of most of “19”). “Million Years Ago” is the surprise track on Adele’s album “25,” as it’s a song about the simplistic days of youth juxtaposed with the fraught reality of adulthood. This song does what Adele does best, which is to pull your heartstrings when she sings, “Sometimes, I feel it’s only me/Who never became who they thought they’d be”.
“Cover Me Up” by Jason Isbell
“Cover Me Up” is one of the best country love songs of all time and though it’s been covered by nearly every country artist out there, none do justice to Isbell’s original. The song shares Isbell’s journey after getting sober, detailing the tragic days and the process of being saved by the woman he loves when he sings, “Home was a dream, one that I’d never seen/’til you came along”.
“James” by Maggie Rogers
In “James,” Maggie Rogers sings about all that she hopes for and the want for someone she used to love. Rogers’ folksy voice and strumming guitar set the scene for lyrics full of wondering and questions without answers, but that’s okay. Maggie Rogers makes you feel hopeful about your own life when she sings, “Just know in the city you’ll always have a place to stay”.
“Rivers and Roads” by The Head and The Heart
Maybe save “Rivers and Roads” when it’ll be okay if you shed a few tears (or a hundred). “Rivers and Roads” details the sad simplicity of the universal experience of life moving forward and moving away from people you love. The song does a wonderful job of saying that no matter what, you will still love them; but nothing prepares you for when they sing, “They’re goin’ to better places/But our friends will be gone”.
“Hot & Heavy” by Lucy Dacus
An album full of nostalgia and acceptance is set up to be perfect with “Hot & Heavy” as the first track. “Hot & Heavy” refers to Dacus’ “hot face” at being back home and “heavy memories” weighing down her mind. A mosaic of past memories and growing up and growing past someone you grew up with.
“Stay Gentle” by Brandi Carlile
Off Brandi Carlile’s new album “In These Silent Days”, “Stay Gentle” is a beautiful guitar ballad anchored by her once-in-a-century voice and whimsical songwriting. Carlile begs the listener to never harden their heart at the hands of the world and soars when she sings, “Stay gentle, the most powerful thing you can do”.
“Scott Street” by Phoebe Bridgers
All of “Strangers in the Alps” details a quiet, introspective point of view, but none does it better than “Scott Street”. Phoebe Bridgers’ soft voice floats through this guitar background and talks about the somberness connected with returning to where you grew up and speaking with someone with whom things have changed.
“Work Song” by Hozier
Hozier’s rich, deep voice soars through this love song where he sings, “When my time comes around, lay me gently in the cold dark earth/No grave could hold my body down, I’ll crawl home to her”.
“Right Where You Left Me” by Taylor Swift
“Evermore” in its entirety is a perfect fall album, so picking just one song from it was nearly impossible. However, when you listen to “Right Where You Left Me,” you don’t want to do anything else. The song tells the story of a woman stuck in her own mind in a heartbreak that happened years ago. The storytelling is so perfect and precise that you can completely see the woman sitting in a restaurant for all of eternity, silently begging the one who broke her heart that “If you ever think you got it wrong, I’m right where you left me”.
Carve your pumpkins, do your Trader Joe’s shopping, and put flowers all over your room to feel the fall season in its entirety; but make sure to use these songs as an anchor. Happy listening!
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