Sounds of Fall: An Autumn Playlist


With the summer at an end and the leaves changing color, autumn means sweaters, midterms, coffee, pumpkins and all sorts of cozy activities. In this playlist, WPGU takes you through some songs that epitomize the feelings of fall.

Nora Jones – Don’t Know Why

Ahh the sweet smell of falling leaves and midterms. And nothing means midterms are coming around other than spending all your time at Espresso Royale. Nora Jones’s “Don’t Know Why” is the epitome of all coffee shop songs. Bringing smooth bossa nova-esque jazz to the moden world, “Don’t Know Why” is the perfect fall song for all your study days. (Written by Emma Kelley)

James Vincent McMorrow – Cavalier

I was immediately mesmerized by James McMorrow’s impressive high falsetto when I heard this song. The lyrics and the way the melody gradually adds layers from soft claps to piano, then horns and cymbals makes it a very pensive song, suitable for the stark fall weather. Soulful and adorned with soft instrumentals, this is my to go to song for studying or reflecting on an autumn day. (Written by Ellen Chen)

Bibio – lovers’ carvings

When I heard this song for the first time, I felt like I was missing out on a piece of musical history. For all I knew this song could have been rolled into a cassette tape 30 years ago—it just seems timeless. A quick search proved the track was actually released in 2009 in Bibio’s most critically acclaimed album Ambivalence Avenue. The whole album itself is crisp and pretty stellar, but this track in particular is just the kind of upbeat I need before the next polar vortex hits. (Written by Diana Czarny)

Fleet Foxes – English House

Fleet Foxes love nature and this track matches up with the nature of fall. They always sound like they’re playing outside, but the lyrics in this one (“a cold wind” and “a country house”) bring more specific images of autumn. It’s always good to relax with some Fleet Foxes. (Written by Mateo Muro)

Radical Face – We’re On Our Way

If it’s autumn, the only thing that I’m guaranteed to be doing is a lot of reading, a lot of late-night strolls, and a lot of coffee drinking. This is a song that fits in perfectly with all of that. It’s cadenced and relaxed with gossamer instrumentation. It should be used as background music in movie scenes where characters fall slow-motion into a pile of leaves. But for now, it’s just the perfect walking song. (Written by Emma Goodwin)

A Great Big Pile of Leaves – Back to School

“Where did the summer go?” As the temperature drops and the midterm stress rises, that’s a question I’m sure we’re all asking ourselves. We’re already well into the semester, and speaking for myself, poor habits are manifesting, and the dust on the snooze button is getting knocked off. But I really shouldn’t complain. I’ve got a nice, easy classload, my schedule is the most relaxed it’s been throughout my college career, and I’m having the time of my life. So here’s to surviving the tests and enjoying ourselves. (Written by Justin Peters)

Kanye West – All Falls Down ft. Syleena Johnson

At the risk of sounding far too literal, Kayne West’s quintessential Chicago anthem is the perfect accompaniment to Autumn. Just as the leaves die and fall from the trees, Kanye’s poignant lyricism describes the decline of the lives of youth in rural America. The track, which focuses on stark topics, is one of the best Kanye songs to date (Sorry, Yeezus), just as Autumn is the best season of the year, despite it being a season filled with the perpetual deaths of the leaves on the trees. Oh yeah, and Kanye wins for this line: “I want to act ballerific like it’s all terrific.” (Written by Boswell Hutson)

The White Stripes – Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground

Though the video and lyrics don’t really have anything to do with autumn, the title screams it. Even though it’s just a metaphor for a failed relationship, the overall attitude and delivery summon the feeling of autumn (“I didn’t feels so bad ’til the sun went down”). And just like autumn, it feels pretty decadent, but we still like it. (Written by Luke Ray)

Red House Painters – Michigan

Guitars with nylon strings have a unique timbre that Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon frontman, Mark Kozelek, uses to great effect. They sound melancholic with a bit of warmth and rose-colored nostalgia that reflects the quintessential autumn mood. This song in particular is steeped in romantic imagery as well as a cloudy melancholy. It’s not a sad song, but it feels like it is. Lines like “I just want to feel your pulse again” (cleverly accentuated by the introduction of the bass line) tap into the beauty and romantic nature of fall, with the leaves changing color and crisp, clear air, as well as the nostalgia which comes from reflecting on the summer. To me, this song epitomizes how autumn makes me feel and I love every second of it. (Written by Eric Holmes)

About WPGU Music Staff

We're a gang of music lovers.

View all posts by WPGU Music Staff →

Leave a Reply