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It’s that time of year again; the wind is picking up, the air is crisp, the sweaters are on, and pumpkin spice is in everything. It’s officially fall. Those who love this time of year will indulge in all the feelings and aesthetics surrounding the season, and for many, music is the biggest moodsetter for the season. So what constitutes a fall playlist, let alone, a fall one?

According to me and my expert playlist-creating partner, Sadie, the fall playlist is an attainable feat with a little bit of guidance. Every year, Sadie makes a playlist on Spotify at the start of fall titled “Spooked” (here are volumes one, two, three, and four). With every year comes a new volume. Last year was the first year that I helped to curate the playlist, so now I too have the skills to be able to build the perfect playlist. That being said, we believe that there are three different categories of fall music – all of which can be incorporated into a playlist.

  1. Classic Fall-Themed Songs

These songs can have indicators of fall themes and events, like “This Is Halloween” from The Nightmare Before Christmas, or “Autumn Leaves” by Bing Crosby. Like “Autumn Leaves,” the majority of songs that make up this category are jazz standards because jazz is inherently fall-themed. Some are more silly and theatrical Halloween songs, like “Spooky, Scary Skeletons.” These are a meme, but are necessary because they add childlike excitement for Halloween. Because of the drastic duality of songs in this category, you have a lot more wiggle room to pick songs.

2. Film Scores from Fall Movies

Films can carry the same fall aesthetics that music can, and because movies have soundtrack scoring, we can use those aesthetics to build our playlist. This category is very important because fall playlists require a healthy balance of instrumental vs vocal music. Some examples of fall movies with excellent film scores are Twilight, Casper, Good Will Hunting, The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, When Harry Met Sally, and any and all of the Harry Potter films

  1. Mainstream Songs that Give Fall, Spooky, or Dark Vibes

This is the category where you can go a little crazy. “Mainstream” is a very broad, subjective genre, so pick songs from your repertoire that have a bit of a mysterious, creepy, dark, or whimsical vibe. Artists that elicit these aesthetics include, but are not limited to; Billie Eilish, The Neighbourhood, Conan Gray, Arctic Monkeys, Hozier, and Muse. Don’t be afraid to just go with straight-up gorgeous and comfy autumn either – anything that directly mentions fall, cold weather, or leaves. An example of a song like this is “All Too Well” (who’s excited about Taylor’s Version?!). “Autumn leaves falling down like pieces into place–” a must!

Now for some extra tips and tricks! Volume-by-volume repeats are allowed, but not too many. Only songs that you believe are instinctually appropriate to listen to every year. If there is a song that doesn’t fit directly into any of the above categories but elicits a fall memory for you, go for it! In conclusion, the perfect fall playlist is just around the corner for you! The most important part of making a playlist is putting your own personality into your choices. As mentioned above, fall means something different to each and every one of you, and your playlist has to represent that. Walk outside, feel the fall breeze, and begin crafting your perfect fall playlist. 

Caroline is currently a junior Communication Studies major and Arts & Entertainment Management minor at Pace University in New York City. She specializes in writing about pop culture, food, and thanks HerCampus for the chance to let her do so. Feel free to check out my Instagram @carolineggerman!
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