As green leaves turn to shades of red, yellow, and orange, and the warm, sunny days of summer become infused with chilly wind, it’s apparent that fall is upon us. Though it is easy to miss the freedom of summer, fall is not a season to disregard. With the picturesque scenery, sweater weather, and the comforts that come with spending OneCard money on Starbucks’ seasonal menu, embrace fall and the amazing things it has to offer! In particular, nothing can beat the feeling of going for a stroll along the streets of Montreal, while listening to a song that adds some much-needed autumnal ambiance. As you explore the streets, take my advice, and incorporate these 10 songs into the soundtrack of your fall.
- Francis Forever by Mitski
Starting off this list is none other than Japanese-American Indie sensation, Mitski and her song “Francis Forever.” This emotional mid-tempo ballad, dealing with perpetual feelings of inadequacy, is one of Mitski’s most quintessential songs and encapsulates the feeling of isolation perfectly. This song makes for a perfect fall walking song when you’re feeling glum and missing summer, as you can reflect on how “autumn comes when you’re not yet done, with the summer passing by.”
- The Gold by The Manchester Orchestra and Phoebe Bridgers
Phoebe Bridgers’ cover of The Manchester Orchestra’s “The Gold” encapsulates the melancholy beauty of fall. The soft strums of a guitar accompany Bridger’s emotive vocals, as she attempts to deal with a sudden heartbreak. With the leaves on trees turning to gold, this song provides the haunting beauty needed to enjoy the changing of the seasons.
- Paper Bag by Fiona Apple
As one of the lead singles from the album that shattered any notion of Fiona Apple undergoing a ‘sophomore slump,’ “Paper Bag” is a must-listen for this fall. Detailing the disappointment in hoping for a successful relationship, Apple’s raw, earnest, and unflinching lyricism is complimented by a mellow piano. The ragtime-esque quality and emotionally compelling message can transform any autumn stroll into a deeper reflection on life.
- New Slang by The Shins
As university students, our days can be filled with the angst of uncertainty that this part of our life tends to bring out. The Shin’s “New Slang” is a great listen for those who need an outlet to overcome this stress and feel clarity during your walks around campus. Capturing the essence of wandering through your hometown, “New Slang” and its simple guitar strums are a vital component of any autumnal walk.
- Chinatown by Wild Nothing
Amidst all the sad songs that have been placed in this list, “Chinatown” stands out as a feel-good tune to heighten the good vibes of fall. Filled with nostalgia and longing, this song’s simple lyrics and upbeat instrumentation will ensure that you notice all the beauty in the leaves around you.
- My Girlfriend is a Witch by October Country
To have a list of songs for fall and not include a Halloween song would be simply criminal! This 1968 Psychedelic rock song is straightforward as, to the surprise of no one, it’s about a man and his witchy girlfriend. With a fun, funky groove and a catchy chorus, this song should be a staple for your Halloweekend plans.
- For Emma by Bon Iver
Written in the solitude of a remote hunting cabin in Wisconsin, “For Emma” was inspired by the lead singer’s depression following a breakup. The location in which the titular single, and the rest of the album, was written has a clear effect on the output, as the song feels imbued with a withdrawn bleakness. This bleakness drives the song’s themes and will set the exact tone needed for Fall.
- Take Me Down Easy by James Henry Jr
The tranquil sounds and uplifting meaning of “Take Me Down Easy” make for a great addition to any fall playlist. With the beautiful imagery of a “tall tree” and “the storm,” this song connects nature to concepts such as overcoming your past and standing taller because of it. Shoutout to any reader who, thanks to the magic of BoJack Horseman, has already heard this song.
- Genesis by Grimes
In good faith, I cannot pretend that this song has connections to fall in the ways that other songs on this list do. It does not reference fall, nor does the synth-electro pop backing evoke the essence of autumn in the way the acoustic guitars of the other songs on this list do. However, something about the playful, airy instrumentation and Grimes’ sing-songy voice captures a playfulness that just works for a fall playlist. Just trust me and add this song to your playlist!
- Indiana by Adrianne Lenker
Closing out our list is “Indiana” by Adrianne Lenker. A soft, serene Indie song, Lenker details her escape from Indiana and the harsh realities of touring as an artist. This song is sure to inspire some mindfulness and illicit deep reflection, making it a perfect song for an autumnal promenade.
With midterms, assignments, and extracurriculars piling up, it’s easy to miss out on the beauty of fall. However, here at the Bull & Bear, we encourage you all to take some time for yourself and explore the streets of Montreal while listening to some autumnal tunes. Take in the foliage, the sounds, and the autumn breeze, and enjoy the rest of fall before winter comes. Let these songs assist you, as you curate the fall playlist of your dreams.