From the leaves changing colors to the temperature cooling, to the return of sweater and scarf usage, everything about this season brings me bliss. I always find that I thrive the most during this time of year, even if my personal life may be in shambles. After what is usually a long and hot summer, it’s refreshing to feel a gust of brisk air blow through my hair.
These are some of my favorite songs that always remind me of this time of year, no matter when I listen to them. Whether it be the memories the songs elicit or the imagery the instrumental and lyrics project, this is the soundtrack to my fall.
“Cherry Wine – Live” by Hozier
I remember hearing this song the first time when a classmate sang it in my freshman year of high school. The melancholy guitar plucks paired with her tranquilizing voice made me feel warm, and I immediately searched for the original version when I got home.
The live recording of “Cherry Wine” has been a favorite of mine ever since. There’s something about the intricate guitar riff throughout that makes me want to snuggle into my favorite corner of the couch and drink a cup of hot apple cider. Also, Hozier’s voice is simply divine.
“Come Back…Be Here” by Taylor Swift
I mean, I had to put a Taylor song here. She has so many autumnal motifs in her discography. And with the anticipation of “Red (Taylor’s Version)” coming out Nov. 12, I felt obligated to highlight a song from this album, as it’s arguably the record of hers that most encapsulates the season of fall.
This song is heartbreaking as Swift talks about yearning to be with the person you love. “Come Back…Be Here” makes me feel like I’m letting go of something while simultaneously hanging on to something out of hope and slight desperation.
“One Second and a Million Miles” from “Bridges of Madison County”
This is a stark departure from all other songs I’ve highlighted in my “Song Spotlight” series because this song is from a musical. I’m not an expert in musical theater by any means, but I’m a lover of music, and some exquisite songs are born out of the theater.
“One Second and a Million Miles” — sung by Steven Pasquale and Kelli O’Hara in the original Broadway cast recording — is one of the most beautiful duets I’ve ever heard. You don’t need to know anything about the musical’s plot to enjoy their heartfelt vocals and appreciate the amazing orchestration.
Have I listened to this song while walking in the woods, leaves crunching beneath my feet, pretending that I’ve felt a love as strong as what the lyrics portray? Absolutely. And I highly recommend it.
“One – Live and in Session” by Ed Sheeran
A lot of Ed Sheeran’s older stuff gives me fall energy, but it could partially be because the two times I’ve been lucky to see him live were both in September.
The combination of Sheeran’s impeccable guitar playing and his storytelling through his lyrics in this particular version of “One” radiates raw honesty and vulnerability. The lyrics of this song thrust me into a story of lovers that I feel like I have no right to be a part of, and I’ve always thought of fall as a season for love — whether it be romantic, platonic or familial.
“Older Than I Am” by Lennon Stella
Another feeling I get when fall comes around is the realization that I’m getting older, which always brings a powerful wave of nostalgia.
“Older Than I Am” is the perfect explanation of how I feel when I go back to my hometown during the fall, looking into my backyard and being able to picture 4-year-old me screaming and jumping into a pile of leaves with a wide smile.
“A letter to my younger self” by Ambar Lucid
I discovered this song in the fall of 2020 — a time in my life where everything felt like it was in transition. “A letter to my younger self” is an innocent and sweet reminder that as cliche as it may sound, things do get better, and “the universe is gonna give you muchas flores.”
In short, life is genuinely a beautiful thing, even if it may seem like it’s not at the time. No matter how you’re feeling in your life right now, I hope during this fall season, you have time to not only reflect on how far you’ve come but how you have so much further to go.