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Fall is one of my favorite seasons. I love watching the crisp orange leaves float to the ground; I love feeling the air shift from the muggy warmth of September to the chilly nighttime winds of October; I love the maple syrup and brown sugar latte that gets featured at the local cafe near where I live; I love that pumpkins and Halloween decorations suddenly start to make an appearance at local stores, and I love that we’re heading into the prime winter holiday season. I could go on, but the key part of this transition into fall is how the musical vibes change for me. As a musician, I go through change and transition through stages in my life with the use of music and art.

As fall comes along, there are dramatic changes in my Spotify listening history. I switch from upbeat road-trip tunes and the Top 40 tracks I was blasting through summer vacations and July outdoor-painting sessions to something a bit more calm, quiet, and cozy. We’re headed into the brunt of fall and the whisper of winter, so that means sweaters, crocheted blankets, and chilly nights curled up in bed (maybe watching a horror movie). So to celebrate fall and the cozy mornings and nights that come with it, I’ve made a playlist to celebrate all the little things and to romanticize your everyday, mundane comings and goings. Fall deserves to be celebrated, so walk through this season with these feel-good songs! You can find the full playlist here on the Her Campus UMass Amherst Spotify.

  • “September Song” by Frank Sinatra. Everyone loves Frank Sinatra and his tell-tale voice. Walking to class with this song in the background makes me feel like a character in a movie, crunching through leaves, headed somewhere interesting.
  • “Things That Make It Warm” by Cavetown. This song has a simple tune and it just sounds so pleasant with the light guitar strums as he sings about creating a home for himself and the person he loves.
  • “Motion Sickness” by Phoebe Bridgers. It’s Phoebe Bridgers. Enough said.
  • “Afterglow” by Ed Sheeran. I discovered this song in the fall, and I love the way it starts out slow and calm with light instrumentation, and then picks up when the second chorus starts.
  • “Fool’s Gold (acoustic)” by Niall Horan. The original song by One Direction is still pretty gorgeous, but somehow this acoustic live-studio version by Niall Horan, one of the band’s old members, gives it raw emotion and softens it up.
  • “What Could I Say” by Trousdale. Trousdale is a three-girl singing group that became famous through TikTok, and the soulful harmonies and the slow gait of this song make it absolutely irreplaceable.
  • “Like Real People Do” by Hozier. Somehow almost every playlist I have has Hozier in it, so this shouldn’t really be a surprise. If you haven’t heard this song, I suggest listening soon.
  • “Honey + Tea (acoustic)” by Mozi. Mozi’s voice is absolutely stunning. Don’t miss out on this sweet track, where she sings about meeting her lover for the first time and lemon ginger tea.
  • “Apple Pie” by Lizzy McAlpine. This song just feels so cozy. I’ve used it as the backdrop for cleaning up my room and doing my laundry, and it just feels perfectly right. Also, how cute is that song title?
  • “It’s Been A Long, Long Time” by Harry James. This is a relatively older song, but it reminds me of those old black and white movies, and makes me feel like I’m living through an exciting turning point in my life. Crunching through crisp fallen leaves with this song as the backdrop is never boring.
  • “Cherry” by Harry Styles. Let’s end it with the king, Harry Styles. Summer brings a transition from blasting Kiwi and Golden to something more muted and soft, like “Cherry.” The lyrics are beautiful, and the song always makes you feel something.

So no matter what you’re doing this fall — even if it’s just homework, working a boring desk job, or taking a nice long walk around campus as the leaves fall around you — take this playlist along. Never go through a season without celebrating with music and art! I hope you had a chance to discover some new tunes today, and I hope you enjoy!

Feel free to follow me for more playlists like this one (for every season)!

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Rachel Prince

U Mass Amherst '22

Rachel Prince is a senior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is part of the Honors College, majoring in Neuroscience with the hope of becoming a doctor later in life. She loves playing the piano, creative writing, singing, and riding her bike at sunset. When she is not busy hanging out with her friends, she is planning out her next roadtrip, creating smoothie recipes, or trying to a find a new book to read.
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