20 Autumn Songs for Wearing Corduroy and Crunching Leaves - Part 1
Back in August, we compiled a list of our most favorite pop anthems to act as the soundtrack of your summer -- the sunny, bubblegum songs we were sure you’d love. But it’s October now and those warm days have given way to falling leaves and crisp air just begging for oversized sweaters (a Hot Toddy might be nice, too). On these chilly autumn days, pulsing pop might not cut it, so we’ve curated a playlist packed with soft acoustics, swirling soundscapes, alt-rock anthems, and breezy folk tunes that are perfect for listening to while staying toasty and crunching leaves beneath your boots. Seriously. We tested it ourselves.
P.S. We couldn’t help ourselves with this one -- there are just way too many deliciously warm autumn songs out there, so we’re presenting this one in two parts. Stay tuned for our second batch!
“Lady” by An Old Friend : Long Island alt-rockers An Old Friend craft a quintessential rock anthem built on a heavy, relentless percussive base and flavored by rich melodic lines that offer a soothing, swirling respite amid the aggression.
“Unchained Melody” by Nataly Dawn and Imaginary Future : When you join the voices of Nataly Dawn and Imaginary Future, you get an intoxicating take on a Righteous Brothers classic, this time made shimmering and dreamy.
“Good To Be Alone” by Theo Katzman : Vulfpeck member Theo Katzman’s solo work here gives off a bittersweet folk-tinged tune sweetened by jazzy, sparkling keys and bass warbles but made bitter by Theo’s own heartbreaking, emotional delivery.
“Shrike” by Hozier : Off his latest release since his debut album four years ago, this track is the Hozier we know and love -- that sweet grit of his acoustic coupled with swells of strings and his aching vocals.
“Impossible” by Lyla Foy : London singer-songwriter Lyla Foy is a ghost. Her voice is a haunting, gorgeous wisp floating above quick pulses of percussion that grow in urgency as the mesmeric sadness gets even more emotive.
“Rinse Me Down” by Bombay Bicycle Club : On this track from prolific English indie-rock band Bombay Bicycle Club, the group creates a primarily folk soundscape built on tender acoustic strums, vocal vibrato, and a minimalist arrangement recalling crisp autumn days.
“Song For Zula” by Phosphorescent : This track from Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Matthew Houck is a spellbinding arrangement of ricocheting rock reverb, gravelly vocals, and synth swells booming for six gorgeous minutes.
“What A Strange Day” by Dr. Dog : Philly psych-rock group Dr. Dog take it slow on this contemplative piece, a heavy-strummed acoustic line laying the base for resounding harmonies to sing clipped lines you might want to mull over.
“Neptune Estate” by King Krule : Genre-bending singer-songwriter King Krule builds a supernatural arrangement on this track, slaps of distant percussion and quiet synth swells blooming around his expert delivery.
“And Do It On The Cheap” by Ezra Bell : Portland-based indie-folk band Ezra Bell’s track here is a sparse, twangy acoustic piece shining a spotlight on that warm, special voice you might hear crooning on the back porch of a cool Louisiana night.
“Paper Knees” by The Careful Ones : This seemingly unassuming acoustic track from Florida folk group The Careful Ones starts off soft and slow before evolving into a shimmering soundscape pulsing with shadowy harmony.
“Free” by Francesca Blanchard : The opening of French songstress Francesca Blanchard’s single is a ghostly, humming bloom before her soft breath of a voice enters, holding its own as it moves among gentle strums and booming percussion.
“warm glow” by Hippo Campus : The searing falsetto offers unexpected flavor to this track, but the multi-instrumental arrangement behind it is to die for. Rich and robust, at times dizzying, the swirling soundscape here will break your heart a hundred times over.
“Gold Soundz” by Pavement : 90s indie-rock band Pavement’s second single boasts what we all know and love about old-school indie: those drunken vocal slurs, garage rock percussion breakdowns, and sweet melodies lurking in the background.
“Slow Motion” by PHOX : Led by perfect-in-every-way Monica Martin, PHOX builds a marvelous alt-folk tune so jampacked with sonic details (from the clarinet to the trill of keys to Martin’s rich voice) that it will demand endless replays for the rest of your life.
“Feel” by The Staves : English indie-folk group The Staves are a sister trio whose voices together make a magic previously unknown, the most hypnotic harmonies swimming among an otherworldly folk arrangement.
“The Long Haul” by Sean Rowe : Alt-folk singer-songwriter Sean Rowe’s track “The Long Haul” is one of the most heartbreaking pieces we’ve ever heard. His voice is a howl, a wail, aching atop a tender, swollen soundscape for four minutes of devastation.
For your listening pleasure, we hope you enjoy this comprehensive playlist of songs you can saunter wistfully through streets littered with red and orange leaves to. Happy listening.