Halloween has passed, leaves are changing, and we are officially in the full swing of fall. To me, fall calls for cozy sweaters, warm drinks, and a soundtrack that suits the slightly dreary world around us. It’s almost Thanksgiving and exams are coming, and there is a sort of nostalgia in the air that I can’t quite shake.
The one thing that always helps push me through this last phase of the semester is my perfect playlist. It has to be cozy, slightly sad, and must have the ability to bring you back to Novembers past. When I put my headphones on, hoodie up, and walk through campus, these songs create the ideal soundtrack. Here are my 10 picks for must-have songs on your Sad Girl Autumn Playlist.
1. “Afraid of heights” BY BOYGENIUS
Starting off, we have “Afraid of Heights” from Boygenius’ most recent EP called The Rest. The song depicts two perspectives of risk-taking in relationships, exploring ideas of living life to the fullest. The beautiful harmonies and building structure of the song will encapsulate you and make you wish it would continue to play forever.
2. “ivy” BY TAYLOR SWIFT
No playlist of mine is ever complete without Taylor Swift. Sticking to the theme of the autumn atmosphere, “Ivy” (and the album Evermore as a whole) is the perfect fit. The breathtaking imagery of the lyrics “My house of stone, your ivy grows and now I’m covered” allows the listener to immerse themselves in the song and the picture being painted. There is an element of longing that will let you reflect while still bopping to Swift’s melody.
3. “MEET ME IN THE WOODS” BY LORD HURON
Lord Huron, who constantly brings us wistful folk music, takes the beat of this playlist up a notch with “Meet Me In The Woods.” Keeping with the theme of the autumnal woods, this song takes us through the story of a man who goes through an experience that changes him. Fall always seems to be a period of change. Life is busy, and as a college student, this semester can leave us with many choices to make. The lyrics “I took a little journey to the unknown and I come back changed, I can feel it in my bones” reflect the atmosphere of this time of year for many individuals. You also can’t forget its backing to a catchy melody and guitar playing to fit the fall feels.
4. “Homeward bound” by SIMON & GARFUNKEL
Simon & Garfunkel’s sound is the epitome of the sound of a walk in the woods. It is folky, there are banjos, and the harmonies are incredible. “Homeward Bound” discusses this need to visit home with the longing for the comforts that home provides. November brings homesickness for many college students, and this song can serve as a reminder that this is a universal experience.
5. “CALL IT FATE, CALL IT KARMA” BY THE STROKES
This is my favorite song of all time by The Strokes. Slow melodies tend to drag, but this song beats that common assumption. The melody has this calming effect that slightly picks up at the end in the perfect way. When I listen to this, I picture a slow drive in the mountains surrounded by trees changing color. Living in Florida, I have no mountains to drive through, but this song allows me to pretend I do perfectly.
6. “GET GONE” BY FIONA APPLE
Fall is for the girls. Fiona Apple is for the girls. What more do I need to say? The song is moody and grungy, perfect for those days when you may want to say “f*ck the world.” When I listen to this song, the hood is up immediately. I feel like November is the time of year when we’re all going through it, and Fiona Apple is the remedy for that. Absolute must-listen song.
7. “NOW AND THEN” BY THE BEATLES
The Beatles’ newest and final song evokes strong emotions for any fan of this iconic band. The lyrics of this song talk about friendship and love and reminiscing on memories of the past. The slow tune and harmonies present will sweep you away into a daydream, perfect for that fall stroll through brisk weather.
8. “She calls me back (with Kacey Musgraves)” by Noah Kahan
Noah Kahan is fall in an artist, and I will not take criticism on that statement. He has the country twang combined with the indie melodies that are ideal on a crisp autumn day. And when you add Kacey Musgraves to the equation? Perfection.
9. “Please, please, please, let me get what I want” by the smiths
The Smiths have a very captivating element to their music. The gentle guitar strumming and the longing for something will help put you right into those fall feels. It’s the time of year when you feel things, the leaves change, and feelings change. The Smiths completely understood the assignment with this song.
10. “drunk on Halloween” by wallows
This song was made to be listened to in the fall (obviously, because the title references Halloween). The lyrics also fit right into this sad girl mindset. Lyrics like “The leaves are all gone, so who’s moving on?” talk about such a common feeling during this time of year, where life moves forward but you may feel like you’re stuck in the present. Listening to this song and reflecting is such an amazing experience. 10/10 recommend.
If you want to hear my honorable mentions or see if this playlist works for you, I’ve saved you the trouble by creating the playlist! With these songs in your ears, you’ll be sure to fit right into the fall spirit.