The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Let’s be honest, if you shuffle your Spotify every other song, it’s time for an update — and it might as well be fall themed. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of seasonal tunes (I’m talking about you, Mariah Carey) but October is the ultimate exception: “Monster Mash”, “Spooky Scary Skeletons”, and every single Disney villain soundtrack. Ursula? Dr. Faciler? Oogie Boogie? Come on, you can’t beat it!
But what about the subtler songs that give off fall vibes? Whether that be exploring pumpkin patches, marathoning horror movies, or just crunching leaves, there’s a certain feeling that some songs capture perfectly. Most tracks from The Neighborhood, Cigarettes After Sex, and girl in red capture the bittersweet experience of moving through the passage of time — they feel like fall. But you’ve already heard of them, and most likely overplayed them.
So, here’s a completely objective ranking of 10 underrated songs that’ll remind you of October:
7. “Dead Weight” by Jack Stauber:
For some reason, I always associate this song with walking through Davis while the trees change color. I don’t have synesthesia, but this melody is definitely a mix of deep orange and red. Then again, the majority of Stauber’s songs aren’t necessarily “underrated” so it will remain at the bottom of the list, despite being a stellar option for a cool, autumn day.
6. “Sacred Elements” by Mr.Tree:
You may not recognize the name at first, but yes, Mr.Tree is Oliver Tree, and this happens to be one of his less popular songs, at least compared to “Hurt” or “Alien Boy.” The muffled instruments, warm imagery, and recollections of spring foster a sense of anxiety over change — which is why he repeats, “All good things come to an end.” Overall, I can’t not mention “Sacred Elements” because of how seamlessly the song matches fall’s sad, yet necessary progression away from the brighter seasons.
5. “Kleenex” by Baby Boys:
This track’s jump from a soft-spoken word to a passionate, yet distorted tone, bolsters the nostalgic sentiment regarding old friends and far away moments — the rhythm is complicated, pairing well with the idea of mixed feelings over growing up. The slow reflection juxtaposed with the rush of flashbacks thematically creates a struggle over maturity: a literary and symbolic tie to fall’s relationship to death amidst growth.
4. “Into the Midnight” by Ezediel:
On to a darker, more Halloween-esque song, Ezedial’s vocals carry an intense, raging, and manic persona that rivals Corpse — this is perfect for any costume party. Honestly, it’s great for laundry too. So, if you’re feeling slightly angsty or only want a tinge of seasonal celebration, give this track a listen.
3. “Honey Moon” by Birds in the Airport:
Onto a more upbeat and indie tune, this song radiates fall vibes without shoving Halloween in your face. Its light, meditative, and the playful tune feels like an October sunrise; plus, its psychedelic yet tender lyrics carry that same relaxing sensation.
2. “Cherry Tree” by The National:
For starters, the tension in this song is insane: angry, intense, and above all else, longing. The melody has an underlying deranged quality that reminds me of the dark symbolic aspects of fall as a precursor to winter. Granted, I’m cheating here because this song is already one of my favorites, but I had to include it. So again, if you’re feeling slightly angsty, check this one out!
1. “Black Bear” by Black Bear:
No matter what time of year I hear this song, I am immediately transported to fall. Metaphorically, the lyrics are clever, and rhythmically, the beat pulls you in as a listener — sometimes the emotional effect of poetry is just too familiar. Regardless, I doubt you’ve heard of this one before, but when you do, you’ll feel ready for any autumnal affair.
After compiling these songs, I can say that I’ve successfully refreshed my Spotify while staying hyped for Halloween. Whether you agree or not, I hope this ranking has you in the mood for October.
Let’s channel that fall energy instead of growing excessively bored of our playlists!