Autumn is a morbid season, no matter how much we refuse to admit it. The trees are slowly dying, the sun is in a rush to melt behind the mountains and we can feel a brisk chill that follows us around and buries in our bones. With that being said, the nostalgic longing for fall is unmatched by any other time of the year. It’s only fair that the music we listen to matches the vibe of the season. I have compiled a list of ten songs to add to your autumn playlist that perfectly sums up what the season itself feels like.
- “Sweater Weather” – The Neighborhood
Almost everyone knows the song “Sweater Weather.” Its familiar beat and soothing vocals can immediately transport the listener to a cold beach setting. Just imagine walking along the shoreline of Jennings Beach with this song playing in your earbuds. The thought of someone else holding your hands (and your heart) brings a welcome warmth to the cool breeze and crisp chill in the air. The melancholy post-chorus and love story lyrics make the perfect pair and can sum up fall in a nutshell.
- “we fell in love in october” – girl in red
The title of the recommendation should give it away, but this song clearly takes place in October. The comforting yet thrilling emotions of young love, in addition to the picturesque lyrics, are relatable to anyone. The inclusion of a familiar guitar intro can bring those feelings to the surface. Partnered with her repetitive chorus and low vocals, girl in red truly brings the feeling of fall to fruition.
- “Night Changes” – One Direction
This is a classic teenage ballad, often played in the cars of 17-year-old girls when they finally begin pondering getting older. The lyrics, specifically the chorus, evoke the sense of aging and watching one’s life fly by. Autumn begins, bringing with it a new year of school, which can remind people that they are one step closer to adulthood, even more so in college. Though we are all technically legal adults, “Night Changes” reminds us to hold onto our youth, because it flies by in a second. The wistful song can bring you and your friends closer, as well as promote deep conversations between you.
- “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” – Blue Oyster Cult
This is a much older song, but Blue Oyster Cult can perfectly grasp the idea of October music, specifically Halloween-themed. This song, eerie and macabre, is masked by a familiar cowbell and a jaw-dropping guitar solo. The reverberation added to the vocals and backing vocals give it a ghostly effect. The somewhat upbeat song, romanticizing death and “The Reaper,” is the perfect addition to a spooky playlist.
- “Somewhere Only We Know” – Keane
The heavy piano that opens this song is contradictory, both forlorn and upbeat. Passionate vocals about needing something or someone to rely on are not only relatable but can remind people of the loneliness colder seasons bring. Keane’s hopeful chorus can make listeners feel less alone during the cooler months. Not only that, but the lyrics create a sense of secrecy between two individuals, and can be a perfect song for a long drive with your partner.
- “Somebody’s Watching Me” – Rockwell (feat. Michael Jackson)
This has to be my favorite Halloween song that wasn’t written as a Halloween song. The whole idea of someone watching you is enough to freak anyone out but mixed with the creepy synths and vocals, it makes for an excellent addition to your October playlist. Michael Jackson, not a stranger to Halloween himself, does an excellent job making the music sound as spine-chilling as possible.
- “Baker Street” – Gerry Rafferty
This song also includes a very abrupt piano, but its main feature is a saxophone. Absent from most songs, this unique instrument brings a warm sound to an ultimately sorrowful song. The lyrics themselves are incredibly forlorn, but the musical mix makes me think of the colorful orange leaf changes (and also the movie “Good Will Hunting”). If you haven’t heard this song, I highly recommend you give it a try and mix up your usual music listening experience.
- “Campus” – Vampire Weekend
This is another one that I like to think is rather self-explanatory. The song “Campus” is about walking to class and suddenly seeing the person of your dreams in front of you. It’s a cute back-to-school song for when the weather is still slightly warm and the seasonal changes have just started. Who knows? Maybe if you listen to it enough you’ll find your Stagmate!
- “Thriller” – Michael Jackson
After mentioning one of his features, I couldn’t “not” include the quintessential Halloween song: “Thriller.” If you’re really feeling the magic of the Halloween season, sit down and watch the thirteen-minute music video, which is more of a short film. Luckily, the song isn’t that long, so you can add it to your playlist without having to worry about the rest of the discography disappearing in the queue.
- “This Charming Man” – The Smiths
To close it off, one of my personal favorite bands, The Smiths, has such amazing fall songs. In “This Charming Man,” in particular, the bright guitar music contrasts with the often depressing tone of most Smiths’ songs. The songwriter, Morrissey, provides clever lyrics and jumping vocals to keep the listener entertained. If you like the sound of this song, I highly recommend the rest of their discography, as it contains so many songs to listen to in the fall and winter seasons.
As the leaves begin to cover the yellowing grass and the walk to class becomes a bit harder, we could all use a little motivation. So, instead of shrugging on your jacket and complaining about the cold, pop in some earbuds and put on your fall playlist. I hope after reading my recommendations you’ll have some new additions to make the most of this fantastic season. Make yourself the main character on your walk to the Tully by listening to music you’ll want to keep on repeat. Happy fall!