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As the weather gets chillier and the leaves begin to change color, I’ve found myself starting to rearrange my playlists. As my schedule becomes increasingly full, I’ve had to remind myself to live in the moment rather than plotting out my to-do list for the next few weeks. Getting lost in the steady rhythm of music is a great way to relax before the inevitable business of the incoming holiday season. So, in no particular order, here are a few songs to cozy up to this fall:

  1. “City of Angels”- Em Beihold

Beihold calls out an old friend for becoming famous and leaving her behind. “Used to say, ‘If you ever make it, I’d be the first call/ And life would stay fairly the same/ Oh, our friendship wouldn’t change at all/ But you busted, haven’t talked in a year,” the singer laments. In a world increasingly obsessed with social media and the idea of fame, the song’s cautionary tale is one that relates better than ever before. With upbeat, slick, and laid-back sections that I associate with the perfect fall song, and an excellent song in general, this tune will be stuck in your head in no time.

  1. “Killing Me to Love You”- Vancouver Sleep Clinic

Slow, slick, and haunting, this song will echo in your mind long after the last lines have faded away. The song describes the struggles of someone who is trying to help their lover as they battle their inner turmoil. “It’s growing faster than you’re grown/ Now you’re stronger than yourself,” the chorus begins. The music video, starring Kristine Froseth (Looking For Alaska, Birds of Paradise), is surrealistic, filled with slow nature shots and Froseth traveling a deserted road. It’s the kind of song you listen to while staring out of a car window and pretending you’re a film protagonist. And it perfectly encapsulates that calm, slightly melancholic fall feel.

  1. “Raincoat” (Acoustic Version)- Timeflies, Kira Kosarin

Despite having a more upbeat tune than the previous song, “Raincoat” involves even more heartbreak. Timeflies and Kira Kosarin voice a pair of ex-lovers at a party, each arriving with a different significant other. They both recount the first time they met, bonding when Kosarin’s character pretended to forget her raincoat. I always find myself a bit more introspective during the fall season, and this song embodies the reminiscent attitude that often follows suit.

  1. “Unsaid Emily”- Charlie Gillespie

I’ve recently discovered Julie and the Phantoms, a show on Netflix about a girl who returns to music a year after the death of her mother. Bonding with a trio of ghosts, they form the titular band. This song is sung by the ghosts’ former lead singer, Luke. Without proper context, it may seem like your stereotypical love song, with lines like, “When things got loud/ One of us running out/ I should’ve turned around/ But I had too much pride” and “If I could take us back, if I could just do that/ And write in every empty space the words ‘I love you’ in replace.” However, the song is actually about Luke’s mother, with the singer mourning the fact that he didn’t mend their relationship before his death. With the same slow reminiscence as the previous entry, I’ve found myself playing this song on repeat.

  1. “Let Me Down Slowly”- Alec Benjamin

Alec Benjamin is an amazing lyricist and one of my favorite musicians. He has a way of storytelling that reminds of Ed Sheeran’s older songs like “A Team” and “Castle on the Hill.” Benjamin tells his lover that he can feel her slipping away and begs her to be gentle if she is indeed leaving. “Don’t cut me down, throw me out, leave me here to waste,” he pleads, “I once was a man with dignity and grace/ Now I’m slippin’ through the cracks of your cold embrace/ So please, please.” 

  1. “Arcade”- Duncan Laurence

“Arcade” has become increasingly popular in the fandom edit community, used to play soulfully in the background as couples slowly start to fall apart. A rollercoaster of emotion in itself, the song’s lines “I don’t need your games, game over/ Get me off this rollercoaster” separate it from other narrative cycles of toxic love. Laurence notes an obsession with someone who brings nothing but pain but chooses to step away for his own well-being, a far cry from some of the other songs on this list. Resonating into your core, this song just brings all of the feels.

  1. “Grey Area”- Grey, Sofia Carson

A much more optimistic song than the others on this list, “Grey Area” discusses the all-or-nothing extremes of love. Grey and Carson adopt a similar style to Timeflies and Kosarin’s entry, with each singer representing half of a loving couple. However, the pair wants to consummate their relationship, longing to leave the grey area of not knowing quite where the other stands. “I’m leaving here in love or brokenhearted,” the duo sings, “So, baby, come on, let’s just finish what you started.”

  1. “Fractions”- Juniper Vale

An empowering anthem, the song emphasizes the importance of rising above pain and tragedy in order to become a stronger individual. The narrative is one of rebirth, with lines like, “Break me with the truth take all my fractions/ Shaping something new out of the fragments/ Light up this old soul/ I was broken now I’m golden” and “Change comes with time/ This is life.” As the leaves change from green to red, orange, and yellow, I can’t help but think of this song’s transformative message and the hope that it instills.

  1. “Black and White”- Niall Horan

Describing how he pictures his dream wedding to his lover, I’m sure many a One Direction fan imagines that Horan is singing his eternal love to them whenever this song plays. The perfect road trip song, I’ve found myself blasting this song in my car on the way to work.

  1. “Sad Song”- Cate

Another slick indie song reminiscing on a lost love, Cate presents her inner conflict over wanting to move on from her ex. She doesn’t want to write any more songs about heartbreak and expresses her desire to care less and move on, telling her lover, and herself, “Don’t want to write a sad song baby/ It’s not crazy that I’m acting like I don’t care.” And yet, she still does care, admittedly too much, and she questions whether that’s all they’re destined to be. Another haunting tune for the autumn season, “Sad Song” embodies “Sad Girl Fall” and its introspective, reminiscent nature.

Sianna Swavely is a Cinema, Television, and Media Production and Professional Writing major, with a minor in Communication Studies. In her free time, she can be found video editing, playing the piano, or watching Youtube videos while pretending to study.
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