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The temperatures are dropping. The leaves will soon be falling. Apples are ripe for the picking. Pumpkin spice is everywhere — in your coffee, donut, bagel, and perhaps even in this post. The memes are true — it’s fall, and it’s time for sweater weather. Summer jams start fading around this time of year, but there are many songs that evoke fall foliage — not literally — that we highly recommend when ordering your next overpriced latte.
We wanted to put together a list of some of those sweet cooler weather tunes to play while you’re jogging in your hoodie or simply huddled up inside under the covers. And since September is now officially over, we can’t help but mention Green Day’s beautiful bummer, “Wake Me Up When September Ends.”
Here’s a collaborative playlist with all of the following songs as well as any that you can think of and add in! Go right ahead — what are you waiting for, the leaves to change?
“Sweater Weather” — The Neighbourhood
But of course this song leads the list. How could it not with lines like “Cause it’s too cold for you here and now… so let me hold both your hands in the holes of my sweater,” right? This song was a major hit in alt rock in 2013 and for good reason. It’s not just a really good song, but it’s a romantic track that makes you think almost immediately of a couple in love — with one keeping the other warm in the cold.
“Undone/The Sweater Song” — Weezer
We can debate all day which album is better — The “Blue” Album debut or Pinkerton — and whether or not the band officially jumped the shark with their recent Metallica cover, but one thing’s clear: this track is a classic for any season. Yet, here it is on this list for fall. It may not be an exact fit, but saying goodbye to summer certainly can lead someone to unravel and come undone.
“Harvest Moon” — Neil Young
Hauntingly beautiful — there’s a reason this song is considered one of the legendary artist’s bests. Now, how on earth does he hit that falsetto?
“Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground” — The White Stripes
Arguably no song captures the suckage of the season better than this banger by one of the best to do it. Songwriters out there, it’s not just about your lyrics; songs can give you a feeling of the subject matter just the same!
“Autumn Sweater” — Yo La Tengo
“We could slip away… wouldn’t that be better…. me with nothing to say and you in your autumn sweater.” What a killer line and it doesn’t expand much beyond that, but it’s such a moody song you can literally listen to on your coach with a cup of tea, coffee or, um, soup?
“Winter Winds” — Mumford & Sons
It’s probably because their debut album arrived in the fall of 2009, but this track, while centered on the winter months, sort of focuses on the emptiness and mixed feelings that sort of come up in this season. Heck, the whole album does. “Washed and buried” and “the time we were given will be left for the world” doesn’t exactly strike us a summer happy vibe now does it?
“Pale September” — Fiona Apple
Similar to the Mumford downer feel comes this underrated gem from Fiona Apple off of her 1996 album Tidal. With lyrics like “autumn days swung soft around me like cotton on my skin” and “summer lost their breath and disappear,” it’s definitely mourning a season that’s often filled with carefreeness and sun.
“November Rain” — Guns N’ Roses
This song doesn’t truly evoke the fall but it does make us think how crappy cold November rain is. Like seriously, I’d take snow any day. Okay, maybe it does feel like fall — a summer romance coming to an end perhaps? I don’t know. Killer video. Cold rain sucks. Legendary song. Slash is a beast.
“Coney Island” — Taylor Swift with The National
So much of what Swift has done lately just feels like fall or winter. It’s so much sadness and self-reflection. This somewhat underrated track of a failed relationship just feels like a breakup song and the feeling of being alone. Perhaps the “colder and colder… when the sun goes down” line has nothing to do with weather (it probably doesn’t) but this is a record that you listen to in the fall, and intentionally sit with yourself and wonder what went wrong, and for the purposes of this article, wearing a sweater?
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