My Top Ten Autumn-Exemplifying Songs for the Fall

3 min read

Ashley McDermott ’26

Contributing Writer

Each fall, I look forward to turning on my autumn playlist. For most people, their playlists consist of their favorite songs, artists, or they reflect a certain mood and vibe. For me, my playlists are seasonal. The way people blast holiday music throughout December is the exact way I handle my autumn playlist. In short, these songs are a requirement for me to listen to as summer transforms into fall. 

The tradition began in 2019. I had been sick with the flu and had been out of school for a week. It was the type of flu where something like reading a good book or watching TV required too much energy. All I could do was sleep, mindlessly scroll on my phone, and then sleep some more. I needed something to occupy myself, something to stop me from going crazy with mind-numbness that didn’t require any energy. 

Music had always been a fixture in my household. My mom raised me on The Killers, Natalie Merchant, and Dave Matthews Band. When my mom wasn’t looking, my dad would turn on Notorious BIG, Nirvana, and Metallica. Despite the eclectic taste of my family, the importance of music (and the variety of genres) became embedded in me. Therefore, on that early fall day, music was the remedy that could aid me in that moment. 

This is not just any playlist. That is, this wasn’t just a culmination of songs I’ve heard that “sounded like fall.” This required research, deep internet digging, and hours (I mean hours) of scrolling Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest for any fall playlist suggestions I could find. The result is 299 songs, 18 hours and 39 minutes of musical excellence; or, at least, a super long playlist that I have listened to religiously September through November since 2019. 

Here are my top songs from this playlist. I am no musical expert, I have no knowledge of music theory, and I have no science to back why these songs “feel like fall;” regardless, whether you’re walking the Long Walk, studying in the library, or just need some songs to match the changing of the seasons, these are my top ten songs for autumn. 

1. The Beatles. “In My Life” From Rubber Soul, Parlophone Records, 1965 

2. Wallows. “Pulling Leaves off Trees” From Pulling Leaves off Trees – Single, Atlanta Recording Corporation, 2017 

3. HAIM. “Leaning On You” From Women In Music Pt. III, Columbia Records, 2020 

4. Arcade Fire. “The Suburbs” From The Suburbs, Arcade Fire Music, 2010 

5. The Shins. “New Slang” From Oh, Inverted World, Sub Pop, 2001 

6. Faye Webster. “Right Side of My Neck” From Atlanta Millionaires Club, Secretly Canadian Records, 2019 

7. Alex G. “Sarah” From Trick, Lucky Number Records, 2012 

8. Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers & Lucy Dacus. “Salt In the Wound” From Boygenius – EP, Matador Records, 2018 

9. Echo & The Bunnymen. “The Killing Moon” From Songs to Learn and Sing, Warner Records Inc., 1985 

10. The Lumineers. “Stubborn Love” From The Lumineers, Dualtone Music Group, 2012

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