One of my favourite parts about living in Canada is that fall actually exists. Not like living in the South, where it gets to around 15ºc and everyone grabs a pumpkin spice latte and starts wearing turtlenecks. So when the weather actually does get cooler and the leaves start turning shades of amber and gold, I feel that it’s totally appropriate to start listening to my fall playlist again (as if I hadn’t already been listening to it since halfway through August).
After browsing through the wide array of fall playlists available on Spotify, I have come to the conclusion that they’re all pretty generic. Typically they all start with Skinny Love and The Night We Met, along with an assortment of Jack Johnson and The Neighbourhood. Not that there is anything wrong with these artists or songs, but they’re definitely starting to lose their touch after Starbucks blasts them on repeat for the next two months until they can switch to overplaying Michael Buble’s Christmas album.
I’ve been cultivating the perfect fall playlist for a few years now, so I feel I’ve had plenty of time to stumble upon some gems that aren’t on every single “sweater weather” playlist that come up on your Spotify search, even if I still feel I haven’t fully perfected the playlist. But without further ado, I present to you some of the best songs you could add to your fall playlist this year:
The Rain, Oh Wonder
The title of this one is a dead giveaway that it’s going to be perfect on your fall playlist. I swear, once fall reaches Montreal, it rains every day until the rain turns to snow and then it just snows every day until May of next year. This song opens with the sounds of a vintage record circling before it reaches the first track which fades away and becomes background noise for the rest of the song. Over top, a combination of harmonious vocals and calming beats mimic the sound of rain beating steadily on window panes, the ultimate combination of fall vibes.
The Wreck of Our Hearts, Sleeping Wolf
Fall playlists are the perfect home for all of those overly nostalgic, sort of depressing songs that you don’t really want your friends to see you listening to on repeat anywhere past midnight. This song is exactly that. The verses are just calm enough for you to listen to them peacefully while you’re laying in bed trying to fall asleep for two hours, but the chorus traps you in one of those “sing-at-the-top-of-your-lungs-like-you-just-got-your-heart-broken” moments. Overall it’s just perfect for those days when the sky is gray, the air is chilly, and you want nothing more than to curl up in bed and ignore the rest of the world.
Perth, Bon Iver
I’m just going to come right out and say it: Skinny Love is not Bon Iver’s best song. Someone had to. Now I’m not saying that it’s a bad song by any means, but I often wonder how the collective human population gets together and all agree that one song is really good and totally misses out on some other bops from that same artist. Perth isn’t even on Bon Iver’s top 5 most popular songs on Spotify, which still shocks me every time because it’s so good. I feel like every girl who’s ever made an “indie” playlist has to at least have heard of this. Nevertheless, this song is the embodiment of fall. While it definitely has more of an acoustic rock vibe and isn’t nearly as chill as a song like Holocene, this song is just enough of a blend of mellow acoustic with a good beat to make it perfect for walking up Mont Royal as the leaves begin to fall.
From Gold, Novo Amor
Here we return to yet another song whose title is basically a dead giveaway that it will fit perfectly on your fall playlist. Between the idea that it’s straight from the golden rays of summer to the gold leaves of fall, it’s basically a dead giveaway. The escalation of this song from peaceful to another near acoustic-rock bridge (similar to Perth) at the very end mirrors the escalation of the last days roaring colour in the trees before they all fall to the ground and winter is upon us.
Disappear – Demo Version, Mikky Ekko
I’m not sure when or how I stumbled upon this song, as it strays pretty far from what I feel the standard collection of fall songs sounds like. However, I spent all first year looking out my twelfth floor window at the mountain watching the trees slowly lose their leaves every day and the people below gradually appear with more and more layers, and somehow, it became the epitome of fall to me. The focus is largely on the layers of harmony in the vocal track, and there’s really not much to the background at all. The progression of the song really mirrors fall to me as well; starting out slow and calm and then reaching a certain point (3:05 in the track) it’s as if all the leaves suddenly fall at once. The rest of the song mimics the calm and melancholic nature of the trees being bare and the sky being gray as the impending doom of months of snowfall and cold temperatures appear on our doorsteps once more.
Forest Fires, Axel Flovent
The last song I will gush about today, this one is perfect for those long commutes home that many of you will make for Thanksgiving weekend. The steady beat is fast enough for it to perfectly compliment staring out at the blur of trees flying past as your train speeds along towards home while still gracing us with the melancholic tone that any true fall playlist probably has. And of course, the name of the song fits perfectly with the images of the trees being ablaze as they crisp up on the branches of the trees.
If you’re looking for even more songs to compile into your fall playlist, you can check out my fall playlist on Spotify (fittingly titled “FALL”) where you’ll find even more overly nostalgic and mellow beats to accompany you as you walk to campus every morning through the ever-growing piles of dead leaves on the sidewalks.
Images obtained from:
Kim Nucum via Youtube.
The author via Spotify.