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My Autumn Essentials: A Playlist as Leaves Fall

In honor of my favorite season of the year, I've compiled a soundtrack chalk full of intimate gatherings, flannels, and the coziest blankets I could get my hands on. Dive into everything from tender folk ballads to explosive anthems as the weather changes and your nose starts to run.


"First Day of My Life" by Bright Eyes

Starting off with a cozy acoustic ballad, Conor Oberst’s contemplative lyrics evoke an undeniable sense of warmth, as if the singer himself is providing a blanket as you lay on the couch. As nature undergoes transformation during autumn, so too does Oberst, as he reflects on the ways in which his love for the song’s subject has changed his outlook on life. Listening to this song during the fall can create a perfect harmony between the music and the season, making it an ideal soundtrack for ideal soundtrack for moments of introspection and tranquility.

"Say Yes" by Elliot Smith

The finale of Smith’s masterwork “Either/Or” resembles a slowly falling leaf, meandering through the wind before eventually settling gently in the embrace of the ground. Its tender melodies and fragile lyrics create a bittersweet atmosphere, mirroring the melancholic beauty of the autumn season. Listening to this song feels akin to wandering through a forest adorned with golden leaves, lost in introspection and the gentle whisper of the wind.

"Who Goes There" by Bladee

This bombastic cloud rap anthem starts off with a direct reference to October itself, and never looks back. The opening track on “Eversince” hits like a blast down a Boston wind tunnel, as the blaring instrumental pierces the calm like a foghorn. Bladee’s unique outsider sound crafts an honest depiction of the isolation that is all-too common in the colder months.

"Re: Stacks" by Bon Iver

In this track, Justin Vernon encapsulates the raw vulnerability of fall, as if the song's understated melodies were woven from the delicate threads of a leaf. The sparse instrumentation and Justin Vernon's plaintive vocals create an intimate aura, reminiscent of the solitude found in the shifting of the seasons. Listening to this track feels like watching the last droplets of color fade away, leaving a sense of both loss and renewal in their wake.

"I’ll Be Your Mirror" by The Velvet Underground & Nico

This innovative 60s collaboration offers a tender meditation on connection and self-discovery, akin to the introspective moments of fall. Nico's gentle melodies and poetic lyrics serve as the titular mirror, reflecting raw emotions and vulnerability right back onto the listener. It captures the essence of finding solace in another, mirroring the comforting embrace of autumn's peacefulness amidst the fading warmth of summer.

"Apple Pie" by Travis Scott

What's more "fall" than the most quintessential of Thanksgiving desserts? The track sees Scott savor life's simple pleasures: the coziness of a small gathering, friends and family coming together, and homemade confectionaries. The trap pioneer creates a rich, layered recipe for musical delight, reminiscent of the multi-sensory experience of taking your first bite of pie on the fourth Thursday of November.

"So What" by Miles Davis

This jazz track embodies the effortless coolness of fall, mirroring the smooth elegance of the word autumn itself. The song's laid-back jazz vibes and improvisational spirit capture the leisurely pace of autumn afternoons, where time seems to stretch, and moments of reflection unfold. Its melodic sophistication mirrors the understated beauty of fall, inviting listeners to savor the subtle nuances of the changing season.

"Plainsong" by The Cure

The moody opener to The Cure’s 1989 album envelops listeners in a misty, atmospheric embrace, akin to the quiet mystery of a foggy fall morning. The song's ethereal melodies and Robert Smith's haunting vocals create a sense of introspection and nostalgia, mirroring the enigmatic allure of autumn. It captures the essence of wandering through a dew-kissed landscape, where every step resonates with the tranquility and beauty of fall.

"Drew Barrymore" by SZA

This R&B lead single bursts forth with vibrant energy, embodying the confidence and self-assurance that often accompanies fall's transformation. SZA's empowering lyrics and infectious rhythm mirror the bold hues of fall foliage, capturing the spirit of embracing one's true self amidst the autumnal metamorphosis. It's a musical celebration of individuality, akin to the vibrant tapestry of colors that paint the world during the fall season.

"Place To Be" by Nick Drake

This 70s folk-rock classic perfectly embodies the serene solitude of fall, capturing the essence of contemplation amidst nature's changing hues. With its delicate guitar work and Drake's haunting voice, the song mirrors the quiet introspection of a solitary walk through a rustling forest. Each note resonates like the rustle of leaves underfoot, evoking a sense of melancholy and acceptance, akin to the fading sunlight on a crisp fall evening.


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