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10 Songs that Fit the Autumn Vibe: Whimsical and Spooky

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Illinois State chapter.

Fall is finally here! it’s time to relish in cozy sweaters, pumpkin spice lattes, and preparing for Halloween. If you’re in need of song recommendations to make you feel extra autumnal, look no further. Here are my categorized, top ten songs with that will give you whimsical vibes or goosebumps across your skin. 

We fell in love in october by girl in red


we fell in love in october cover art, girl in red (2018)

“We fell in love with October, that’s why, I love fall.” 

Being girl in red’s most popular song to date, we fell in love in october is a song that perfectly emulates the autumn feel. This song is calming, has repetitive lyrics, and a background instrumental blending in with the soft vocals of Marie Ringheim, the singer behind girl in red. Ringheim sings a tribute to a girl she loved, and as you listen, you immerse yourself next to someone you may love in life. With this song, you can imagine yourself on the rooftops, watching October fly by. 

Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/track/1BYZxKSf0aTxp8ZFoeyM3d?si=c6891f9ff0ed479f

Bon Iver by mxmtoon

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dusk album cover art, mxmtoon (2020)

“Even when the sun goes down, still know my world goes ‘round.” 

Created in 2020 to accompany her Dawn EP, mxmtoon, or Maia, writes about the beginnings and ends with dawn and dusk. The song focuses on the fact that though the sun might set, the world is still going to turn. The whimsical melodies and background accompaniment to the music makes you feel like you’re at a standstill, appreciating the world around you as it fades into dusk. As the autumn season lessens the daytime, we can appreciate the dusk more often. 

Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/track/10Dm3hTVWVFhOcSo0pVB2R?si=4afc2be66ea442d5

Willow by Taylor Swift

Evermore album cover art, Taylor Swift (2020)

“Life was a willow and it bent right to your wind.” 

The first single released for Taylor Swift’s ninth album, Evermore, began with a witchy, yet whimsical tone, where Swift sings about wanting someone, and the magical intrigue of that person. With the magical lyrics, soft vocals she is known for, and the accompaniment backing her up, you’re transported into a whimsical world full of intrigue and magic, dancing to the tunes under the large, willow trees. 

Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/track/3Uo7WG0vmLQ07WB4BDwy7D?si=b8eb4ff8a0a44f30

Fuel to Fire by Agnes Obel


Aventine album cover art, Agnes Obel (2013)

“All that I say to you is like fuel to fire.” 

Agnes Obel is an artist with mixed styles as she alternates between singing or producing instrumentals. Half of her 2013 album, Aventine, has instrumentals that captivate the listener into a whimsical, yet solemn world. Her vocals mixed into the work gives a melancholy feel, especially in Fuel to Fire. If you watched The Last of Us Episode 5, the end credits play this song, and you can see why. It produces a forlorn melody, yet it strings you along until the very end. 

Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/track/56yekF1j10fFGzKpqiNgpB?si=054842a66a214f13

The Moon Will Sing by The Crane Wives

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Coyote Stories album cover art, The Crane Wives (2015)

“The moon will sing a song for me, I loved you like the sun.” 

Currently blowing up on TikTok in October 2023, The Crane Wives sings of a lover who makes them feel like they cannot shine without them. Even though the meaning is melancholic, the execution of the song is beautiful, as are the lyrics, singing of love between two people as polar opposites, the sun and the moon. It’s an oddly comforting song to listen to, as it feels like you are transported into the character’s feelings, like they are your own. 

Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/track/4c0tJe2ENJwrZbn9Bap2qs?si=a1ca6766d3684c0a

Spooky autumn songs:

Brutus by The Buttress

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Brutus single cover art, The Buttress (2016)

“I don’t want what you have, I wanna be you.” 

Brutus mimics the energy of the betrayal of Julius Caesar, which is a story we all know from high school English classes. The Buttress channels the eerie vibe of the original story in the echoing ambiance. The lyrics sound like a group chant, and the vocal tone leans into desperation. This song will leave you on edge as you listen, and is a spooky song to start the Halloween season off with. 

Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/track/57gfWnvoMmnXBdghubxWrg?si=1e9125ff351f4076

Mermaids by Florence + The Machine

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Mermaids single cover art, Florence + The Machine (2023)

“All the mermaids have sharp teeth, razor blades all in your feet.” 

Florence + The Machine caps off 2023 with this macabre release of Mermaids, where a part of her Dance Fever universe expands to explore a world full of blood thirsty mermaids who crawled from the sea, craving the hearts of human men. Florence Welsh spins the idea of mermaids from harmless creatures to monsters of the deep with her hauntingly beautiful vocals. She incorporates a background ambiance that pounds like a rampant heartbeat. This song allows people to express their wants and needs, and allows them to dance freely to a song as hauntingly beautiful as it is dark. 

Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/track/39cc405lc5WqDnCvmUrP52?si=aaa7dbfa29174ccd

Burn Your Village by Kiki Rockwell

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Burn Your Village single cover art, Kiki Rockwell (2023)

“You do not dance everyday with the fear of living in headlights, the hunted, the deer.” 

Kiki Rockwell is known for her feminist songs full of revenge or searching for requited love in medieval settings as she draws from a wide range of themes to explore in her music. With Burn Your Village, a sister song to a previous title (Same Old Energy), Rockwell dubs this the “revenge song,” and you can definitely see what she means when you give it a listen. With the vocals sounding like frustrated chants, echoes of previous lyrics, and constant pitch drops and changes, she paints a story of revenge on people who don’t understand or refuse to understand that they have power over others. 

Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/track/16Ggpcwd7ZxTveNBNN4GWT?si=bec52d9872f74ff0


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NOCTURNAL album cover art, MOTHICA (2022)

“I don’t wanna want your blood, one drop is keeping me alive.” 

MOTHICA’s sophomore album, NOCTURNAL, explores themes ranging from previous traumas to healing from past mistakes. The track BLOOD, however, is more of an allegory for toxic behaviors– as MOTHICA states on their Instagram, “you can’t be a vampire unless one bites you”. With the heavy handed lyrics, the deep bass in the background, and the muddled vocals, it seems to be more of a story about becoming toxic and hurting others because you are hurt. On the surface, a simple song about vampires and blood, but deep down, reveals how people who are hurting tend to hurt others. 

Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/track/2z2M4b3OwjQfQGcFYFALTx?si=60c06974ef494f37

Me and the Devil by soap&skin

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Me and the Devil single cover art, soap&skin (2013)

“Me and the Devil, walking side by side.” 

The artist soap&skin, also known as Anja Plaschg, debuted this song on her EP, Sugarbread, back in 2013. The iconic song was based off of Robert Johnson’s Me and the Devil’s Blues, highlighting a relationship between the singer and the “devil.” It’s a song with powerful vocals that deliver a haunting feeling to those who listen, as you can imagine yourself walking side by side with someone deemed as “the devil”. Though this can be up to interpretation from the listener, there is a different vision of what a song’s story means for them. 

Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/track/0wrWxW18WK2MkrfDpRHkyh?si=412d43272efd4610

These are only a few songs that I find that fit the vibe of the fall season, but there are plenty more out there to listen to! I hope I’ve at least broadened your taste a little bit, or given you new artists to explore.

Caitlyn Karecki

Illinois State '27

My name is Caitlyn Karecki, I use they/she pronouns, and I am a freshman at Illinois State University. I am pursuing a major in journalism with a minor in writing. I am interested in pop culture, music, clothing and makeup, and books.