Autumn is the best; that lovely middle-ground between sweltering on a packed-out tube train to freezing your butt off in the dark come 4pm, it’s the special pumpkin spiced latte season that allows you wrap up warm whilst the sun is still out. Nothing beats kicking a bunch of leaves in the park, witnessing the reintroduction of mustard attire in high street shops or being able to stay in without the whole “but it’s sunnnnnnnnny” whining from your pals. Thanks Autumn.
Whilst the summer certainly has it’s bangers – hiya ‘Lean On’ – Autumn is more of a reflective, chilled-out affair. To celebrate its return, we’ve put together some of the best songs to curl up to; pop the kettle on, wrap up in your favourite scarf and give these Autumnal offerings a spin.
1. Alessia Cara – Here
Alessia originally caught our attention due to her incredible cover of ‘Bad Blood’ a few months ago – see ya Ryan Adams – and her original songs are more than we could have hoped for. ‘Here’ is a sultry, Portishead-sampled offering that is unashamedly honest about wanting to avoid social interaction; just about everyone has a birthday during Autumn thanks to their parents’ Christmas antics and ‘Here’ is the perfect anti-party anthem.
2. TORRES – New Skin
Even though Autumn is basically about trees dying, there’s something about the start of a new season that beckons, well, a new start. ‘New Skin’ isn’t full of obvious, optimistic anecdotes, though – it’s actually pretty dark – but it’s moodiness is the perfect pairing for when the darker days start to draw in. Plus she emits that kind of effortless cool that that badass girl at school always did and let’s be real, you always wanted to be her friend.
3. Katie Malco – September
This is one for those of you who had a summer fling, only for them to turn out to be a complete asshat but you still kind of feel sad about it and start blaming yourself (we’ve all been there). The piano, the montage video… it’s got everything autumnal going for it and lyrically speaking, Malco brilliantly sums up the end of the summer in the most heart-breaking fashion.
4. Beach House – Zebra
Beach House are the ~dreamiest~ and ‘Zebra’ just screams Autumn, to be honest. The opening riff, the sigh-like backing vocals and the layered instrumentation are the best kind of musical descriptors of those sunny autumnal mornings – when there’s frost on the leaves and endless breathy-condensation. The entire ‘Teen Dream’ album is perfect for Autumn actually, so grab that if you’re into this ~comfy~ kind of output.
5. Alex G – Hollow
Without all the festivals and camping trips that Summer brings, Autumn can be kind of a lonely time. ‘Hollow’ is the kind of song that sums up those solo evenings, when you’re walking around with your headphones on and just reflecting on days-gone-by, y’know? Whilst the song itself is kind of self-deprecating, Alex G is one of those artists you’ll find solidarity with.
6. Death Cab for Cutie – Title and Registration
Death Cab are just an autumnal band as a whole; all warm colours and rainy-day lyrics. They’re pretty much the musical equivalent of toasty feet, cups of tea and burgundy jumpers. This is a great tune for the greyer autumnal afternoons, when you’ve watched too many episodes on Netflix and just want to read a bit of that book you forgot about.
7. Frightened Rabbit – The Woodpile
Now, Frightened Rabbit have their upbeat bangers that are perfect for sunset can-can lines at a festival with your pals – believe us, we’ve been there – but they’re also the perfect band for the colder months. ‘The Woodpile’ is all warm and fuzzy but with that underlining sadness Frightened Rabbit are so good at. Plus, the whole metaphorical woodpile thing definitely applies to the season.
8. My First Tooth – Past Broadcasts
Tinged with the best kind of folk, My First Tooth’s ‘Past Broadcasts’ is a song you’d stick on during a good ol’ country walk on a Sunday, full of roast and red wine. The video is adorably autumnal, with woodland backdrops and the band all scarfed-up. The violins and saxophone are also a lovely tough that’ll make you want to stick this one on repeat.
9. Nico – These Days
Although it’s a pretty sad song, you can’t help but smile when you listen to Nico’s ‘These Days’; it’s full of regret but with an optimistic twinge that’ll give you the kind of hope you’ll need to get through winter. Her vocals, teamed with those lovely strings, makes it the kind of song made for fire-side hang outs; when you’ve got the beginnings of a cold and all you want to do is fall asleep on the sofa.
10. Angel Olsen – Forgiven/Forgotten
If you watch the video to ‘Forgiven/Forgotten’ it pretty much screams Autumn – those fallen leaves, the low sunlight, the cosy coat. But it’s not just the visual aspect that ensured it’s placement in this list – the song is so fuzzy and delicious, it’ll be perfectly teamed with a hot chocolate during those early afternoons, just before the sun goes down (at 4pm, ugh).
Main image © iStock/teksomolika