Our Fringe staff racked up a few picks of songs that make us feel like frolicking through leaf piles, wearing a wool turtleneck, and drinking a pumpkin spice latte. Adding these to your Spotify playlist will be sure to get you in the mood for Halloween, fireside cuddles, and carving pumpkins. You get the picture.
- Against the Grain – Hudson and Troop
Australian indie folk band Hudson and Troop execute music reminiscent of Radical Face, Blind Pilot, and The Avett Brothers with the single “Against the Grain.” This song has rapid acoustic guitar playing paired with complementary drum beats and lyrics like, “In my life the good and bad they come and go; highs and lows are often all that show. Now it’s time to go against the grain,” that sets an introspective tone. Imagine looking out at the fall foliage just before sunset while listening to this song. This autumnal single off of their 2011 “Open Up Slowly” EP, is something you can listen to while studying, walking through the crunchy leaves, or just relaxing. The calming yet stimulating song, “Against the grain” is definitely something you’ll want to add to your playlist.
- Black – Pearl Jam
Autumn can be seen as a transitional phrase, and a sad one at that. Though it’s one of the most beautiful times of the year, the cold air constantly reminds of the frozen, bleak and harsh void of winter that’s right around the corner. And though Pearl Jam’s “Black” has nothing to do with autumn, it still replicates this feeling. “Black” is a classic “breakup song”, telling the story of a man who just broke up with his girlfriend. The song starts out slow and introspective, but gradually gets more intense as the song goes on. Even when faced with so much beauty, the man embraces the darkness that’s slowly consuming him. Many “breakup songs” tend to come off as whiny and self-important, but not this song. “Black” presents a very deep, very visceral look at one man’s devastating sadness. As overused as the adjective is, this song is completely and truly emotional.
- Pretty Pimpin’ – Kurt Vile
Recently released, Kurt Vile’s new album B’lieve I’m Goin Down is a plethora of relaxing, indie-folk music with hints of self-deprecation and wisdom. “Pretty Pimpin’,” named Pitchfork’s Best New Track, is definitely a song that needs to be listened during a time of change found during Autumn. “Pretty Pimpin’” is about Vile’s unfamiliarity with who he is, something that many people face during the end of the year. I love to listen to this song walking early in the morning, stepping on crunchy leaves and reflecting back on the time, people and things about myself that has passed this year.
- The Last Day of Summer – The Cure
“The Last Day of Summer” by The Cure is my favorite song about the fall. Instead of literal seasons, the song is about a relationship using summer as its metaphor, followed by the relationship ending, along with the season. The experience is described never having felt so cold or old, which reminds me of how it feels to go back to school at the end of summer vacation, or feeling the chill in the air for the first time when fall arrives.
- Back to Black – Amy Winehouse
Mary Jo Contino
Miss Winehouse was the queen of modern soul, and I miss her deeply. Fall is a yearly reminder of how powerful and real her music was. It was dark, meaningful, and at times, incredibly sad. Released in 2006, “Back to Black” was well received and was nominated/won numerous awards. The single, “Back to Black”, is inspired by one of her exes leaving Winehouse for an ex-girlfriend, and she turning back to drugs as a coping mechanism. The feel is so somber and vintage, that I can’t help but strut to it down the gray Milwaukee streets in the colder months. Long live Queen Winehouse.
- Dirty Rain – Ryan Adams
Ryan Adam’s “Dirty Rain” from his Ashes and Fire album, has been stuck in my head since the leaves began fluttering down. Everything about it makes me want to cozy up in a coffee shop with a good read and watch the colors change on the trees. “May the winds blow and the moonlight know your name.” His words stirring that hold your breath sensation, the quiet before the storm; or in this case before the Wisconsin winter. The quiet acoustics inspire the kind of fall evening where you light low candles, put on a record and spend a romantic night in with your honey. Warm coffee, crisp fall air, the winds of change: this song will put you right in the mood for all your fall favorites.
- The Wall – Yuck
Walking briskly towards class, stomping on red, orange and maroon leaves, these are the feelings you have when you listen to “The Wall” by Yuck. Yuck is a four-piece rock band that hails from the music hub of London, England. Yuck’s sound is melodic yet catchy with clear influences from 90’s. This particular song layers repetitive lyrics over four chords that makes this simple song a flow as smoothly as a jam-session. This tune the perfect accompaniment to the warm fall we’ve been having. So grab that thirfted sweater and listen to “The Wall” in a pile of leaves while it is still warm.
- Coffee – Sylvan Esso
It’s that time again. The leaves are changing. The temperature is dropping. Coffee is becoming a must and so is listening to “Coffee” by Sylvan Esso. The title alone screams Fall, because, let’s admit it, everyone loves a good pumpkin spice latté during this hallowed season.
But the name of the song isn’t the only thing that screams Fall for me. The slow synth melody mixed with the shake is very reminiscent of Fall weather, as leaves rustle on the ground on a windy day. The lyrics are quite simple too, which I like to think Fall embodies simplicity and a sort of pensiveness. It’s the slow progression into everyone’s least favorite season, Winter. But we are graced with the presence of coffee to keep us warm through these seasons.
- I Put a Spell on You – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
The days are getting shorter, the sleeves are getting longer and the moans are getting louder of students getting up for class. The romance of summer is fading, fall is upon us. Depending on what season you like better some may be suffering the summer blues and others may be jovially preparing for the cold winter to come. Whatever side you may find yourself on, there is one area we can all relate too, sitting back and putting on the music to get you in the mood. The song that helps to get me in the mood would be Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ I Put a Spell on You.
This sultry track not only makes me want to watch Hocus Pocus where three witchin’ sisters gave a brilliant performance of the same song but I yearn to know who put Hawkins in this emotional distress? He borders between a haunted relationship with a lover to being on the brink of insanity good enough for the infirmary making this song so amazing. If you like setting the right mood for the fall or enjoy a different kind of love song, this song will indeed put you under its voodoo.
- The Only Living Boy in New York – Simon and Garfunkel
When I think fall I think of crunchy leaves ripe for stomping and the sweet taste of warm apple pie, also for some reason Simon and Garfunkel. I don’t know when this association was established in my brain but whenever I am lying in bed with my thick socks on holding a cup of apple cider I want to listen to “The Only Living Boy in New York” by Simon and Garfunkel. It may be the dulcet tones of the acoustic guitar or the subtle melancholy lyrics to this song but it would be wrong to call this song anything other than a fall song. The melody washes over you in such a warm way that it’s easy to stop thinking about school or work and just listen to the music.
- Southern Style – Darius Rucker
Looking for a little country flow during the fall? “Southern Style” is definitely up your alley. Rucker’s latest big hit is a feel-good song about a woman from down south and makes many allusions to Southern culture. The former Hootie and the Blowfish frontman combines excellent guitar licks with his renowned voice to give the song a heart-warming, relaxing feeling. Add the deep, thoughtful lyrics, and this becomes a great fall hit (if you ask me, it is great, regardless of season). Something to listen to after a long day at work or if one needs a warm feeling, as the days are getting colder. One of the lines is “If you met her, man believe me, you’d want her to stay a while.” Well, once this song begins, you’ll want it to last a while.