Column: The best playlist for Fall 2020


News Staff Illustration/Adam Sandore

Here are some of the best songs to add to your Fall 2020 playlist.

Annetta Stogniew, news correspondent

There’s something inherently sentimental about fall. As the leaves morph from dazzling green to soft oranges and yellows and the bite of cool morning air brews, there is a jittery anticipation of some unknown, impending delight.

This sentiment, coupled with the physical transition of my surroundings, fosters the ideal environment for introspection. Here is my fall playlist that embodies nostalgia and thoughtfulness, with soft acoustic tones. 

“Bloom” by The Paper Kites
Summer is often a period of liberation, and the impending chill of fall can feel like a stark awakening from a dream. This song introduces the concept of awakening as something sweet and endearing. The gentle guitar riff and distant whistles in the background of this song are  excellent means of easing into a crisp fall morning.

“Real Estate” by Adam Melchor

Another melody saturated with the gentle plucking of guitar strings, this soothing love tune is practically daydream-inducing, which can be much needed on cooler morning excursions. Lyrics of thoughtful longing fit well into longing for better weather, less work and simpler times. 

“Cherry Wine” by Hozier

With the addition of birds chirping and the sounds of nature, this gentle guitar melody and folky tune grasps a deep lull that seems as though it could slip away and drift with an autumnal breeze. 

“Holocene” by Bon Iver

With lyrics that span stories from Halloween to Christmas, “Holocene” is the quintessential fall anthem. A delicate but augmenting melody would perfectly accompany a brisk hike among fall foliage. Self-reflective and mildly critical lyrics cultivate much needed introspection in preparation for the new year to come. 

“Paint” by The Paper Kites

Another lyrically autumnal song, “Paint” tells the story of something haunted, whether it be a house, a person, a relationship. Described as cold and unknown, the haunting of the song is mirrored in the repetition of mundane fall days. Nevertheless, “Paint” ends with hopeful thoughts of the future — just as any good fall day does.

“Heartbeats” by José González
González’s  folk cover of this song by Swedish indie-electronic group The Knife has a  transformative nature that brings new meaning and emotion to the electro-pop counterpart. The cryptic lyrics are interpreted as referencing drugs or relationships, or are sometimes simply accepted as being unclear. Nevertheless, the soothing aucusticity and ambiguous lyrics of this cover blend into the eerie aura of autumn. 

“Hello My Old Heart” by The Oh Hellos

The annual welcoming of fall is akin to returning home after a long journey. The tender lyrics of this song address the singer’s “old” heart, which has been locked away, presumably referring to a state of emotional suppression. As the singer battles with their urge to be emotionally open but remain safe, it is difficult not to confront one’s own emotional turbulence. In order to ascend gracefully into the new year, it is necessary to manage the chaos of what has passed. 

“All Too Well” by Taylor Swift

Another song whose storyline takes place in the fall, this Swift classic reminisces on a past relationship. A song drenched in remembrance, another emotional ballad to evoke deep introspection finds its place on this list. The nostalgic nature of this song and its recent eight-year anniversary are sure to instigate serious reflection.

“Leaves That Are Green” by Simon & Garfunkel

The lyrics not only describe fall in literal terms, but also they mirror autumn on a more subtle level as well. The discrete message passed by Simon & Garfunkel in this tune is one of aging, and not in a graceful manner. As our natural surroundings diminish in the year’s later months, it can be cathartic to reflect on one’s own growth. A lighthearted melody contrasted with somber lyrics in this folk-rock tune fosters the perfect thoughtspace for end-of-year reflections.

“Our House” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

A classic song of comfort, this soft rock staple mandates at least one listen per fall month. With sentimental lyrics and a comfortably redundant piano accompaniment, “Our House”  ignites warmth on the coldest of days. It also serves as a gentle reminder to appreciate the mundane minutiae of day-to-day life, an often forgotten mentality in the subtle misery of fall.

“Another Story” by The Head and the Heart

As much as many of the songs on this list encourage somber retrospection, it is also important to appreciate the good that has passed. The intensifying indie melody and lyrics that both long for a time different from now, but find security in the promise of the future, build to a bittersweet remembrance of the past year, much like many of us will settle upon in the winter months.