Songs for Autumn


Regardless of what season you claim your favorite to be, it is hard to deny the special kind of wonderland that the Pacific Northwest becomes once autumn kicks itself into gear. I may personally be biased because October is my favorite month – but to me, there are few things lovelier than driving the backroads on a chilly autumn day, encapsulated by trees that have clapped their hands and littered the ground with gold and maroon leaves. I’m a sucker for a sunny pumpkin patch outing, a warm cup of apple cider, divine-smelling candles, and every other fall cliché there is out there. I also find autumn to be a time where the right kind of music can be so poignant and fit a mood like your favorite chilly-weather sweater. This song list includes tunes that are prone to fit any weather that this glorious season throws at us, and the moods that shift along with it. So, grab your pumpkin spice-flavored drink and enjoy this autumn playlist!

“Oh the bitter winds are coming in
And I’m already missing the summer
Stockholm’s cold but I’ve been told
I was born to endure this kind of weather…”

The opening lyrics to “Emmylou” by First Aid Kit go. A band of two sisters from Stockholm, Sweden, I believe First Aid Kit are one of the greatest folk groups of our modern day. One of the first concerts I ever attended was a show of theirs on their Lion’s Roar tour, and it remains one of the most beautiful shows I’ve ever seen.

“…But when the leaves fell on the ground
And bully winds came around pushed them face down in the snow
He got the urge for going and I had to let him go
He got the urge for going
When the meadow grass was turning brown

And summertime was falling down and winter was closing in…”

Joni Mitchells sings in “Urge For Going.” Definitely a more melancholy song for when autumn starts drawing to a close and the weather grows colder – especially for the people who annually dread to see the warm weather disappear for a while. Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful tune and one of my favorites of Joni’s.

Included also are a couple of live acoustic versions of songs – “New Test Leper” by R.E.M., and “Kooks” by David Bowie – a song featured on Hunky Dory that Bowie had written for his newborn son, Zowie (which famous English disc jockey, John Peel, discusses briefly at the end of the 1971 recording).

Finally, this playlist also features upbeat tunes that are perfect for those beloved sunny autumn day drives – including “Oh, Mojave” by The Ruby Suns, a dreamy cover of John Lennon’s “#9 Dream” by José González (featured on the soundtrack for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – one of the better movies I’ve seen in the past few years), and “Team Zissou” by Brazilian musician Seu Jorge from The Life Aquatic soundtrack – another fantastic film.