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The Federalist

The Fall Federalist Playlist

Ambrielle Ayllon
A customer at Eyes Peeled Coffee listens to music while enjoying a drink.

After weeks of unrelenting heat, the tail end of October has finally brought us a resemblance of autumn weather. With this change in temperature, there’s nothing better than walking through the cloudy, crisp, cold, morning air with a solid playlist. Here are 20 songs to create that perfect fall feeling. 

1. Yebba— “Distance”

In this song, Yebba showcases her signature soul sound and spectacular vocals. The instrumental arrangement consisting of piano, synth, groovy bass, and strings make an ethereal listening adventure.

2. The Smashing Pumpkins— “Luna”

90’s alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins takes a softer approach to this track with dreamy instrumentals accompanying the lyrics about a devoted love.

3. Laufey— “Slow Down”

In a reflective song, Laufey sings about appreciating your youth while you still can. Gentle guitar melodies and her mellow vocals make for a cozy listen.

4. Daniel Caesar— “TOO DEEP TO TURN BACK”

With a mix of R&B and soul, Caesar creates a serene listening experience with his vocals and harmonious instrumentals. The beat change towards the end of the song also enhances this experience.

5. Mitski— “My Love All Mine”

Gaining much traction on TikTok, this song from Mitski’s recent album explores her intense feelings of love and her hopes that it can still remain on earth even when she passes away.  

6. Eloise— “Left Side”

In this bossa nova-inspired piece, Eloise sings about the process of getting over a breakup. With bittersweet lyrics, she describes the immense hurt she feels but comes to positive conclusion that she knows she will eventually heal, returning to the “left side” of her bed where she experienced passion and pain from her ex lover. 

7. Mac Miller— “Circles”

Exploring a slower side of the rapper’s music, Miller reflects on his self discovery on top of a calming instrumental that sounds like a lullaby with comforting guitar and deep bass. 

8. Phoebe Bridgers— “Demi Moore”

From the ghost-sounding synth throughout the song to the guitar picking, this track is ideal to get into the fall/spooky season with the ghoulish cover as a bonus to fit the aesthetic!

9. Elliott Smith— “Say Yes”

With the simplicity of this song (it’s solely acoustic guitar and vocals) paired with the emotional depth of the lyrics, Smith is able to create a stunningly reflective piece that encapsulates the craving for deep love from someone who can’t give it to you. 

10. Arlo Parks— “Caroline”

Arlo Parks’s indie-soul piece narrates a public argument the singer witnesses between a couple. Filled with vivid imagery, the song clearly sets a scene that Parks then uses to explore common conflicts between people in a romantic relationship.

11. She & Him— “This Girl’s In Love With You”

In this track, the surprising duo consisting of New Girl Actress Zooey Deschanel and singer/songwriter and guitarist M. Ward cover Aretha Franklin’s rendition of “This Girl’s In Love With You.” With a jazzier groove, Deschanel’s smooth vocals, and the gentle instrumentals, this sweet song makes a perfect pair with the autumn weather.

12. Leith Ross— “We’ll Never Have Sex”

A rather simple song, Leith Ross tells a beautiful story about genuine love that is not influenced or reliant on any physical intimacy, on top of a simple guitar chord progression. 

13. Mac Ayres— “Easy”

A more lo-fi inspired piece about loving someone despite their flaws and disagreements, Ayres’s fluid vocals and chill instrumental make for a great fall song. 

14. Foo Fighters ft. Norah Jones— “Virginia Moon”

Yes, this is Foo Fighters. In complete contrast to their known post-grunge/rock sound with heavy instruments and screaming vocals, this bossa nova love song is calm and soothing, featuring pop-jazz artist Norah Jones. However, the band’s signature genre is still present with the inclusion of a guitar solo!

15. beabadoobee— “1999”

Beabadoobee’s dreamy indie instrumentals juxtapose the depressing lyrics about the toxic ending of a relationship, evoking a comforting yet poignant feeling, appropriate for the weather.

16. Taylor Swift— “’tis the damn season”

A fall playlist seems incomplete without Swift and this song proves it. Her fall colored jacket and the misty forest in the background of the album cover set up the story told in the song, in which she rekindles an old relationship while visiting her hometown for the holidays. 

17. Fleetwood Mac— “Storms”

Stevie Nicks’s skillful lyricism describing her acknowledgement of a doomed relationship combined with the melancholy instrumentals produce a beautiful yet heartbreaking song. 

18. Sixpence None The Richer— “Kiss Me”

Lightening the mood, folk-pop song “Kiss Me” captures a feeling of innocent love, excitement, and warmth to counter the cooler climate.

19. Paramore— “Liar”

Softer instrumentals, a haunting guitar riff, and Hayley Williams’s clever songwriting make “Liar” a passionate song about the complexities of confessing love.

20. The Cranberries— “Linger”

Ending on a classic song, the string section, acoustic guitar, and soft percussion in “Linger” create a nostalgic yet bittersweet piece fit for the weather. 

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About the Contributor
Ambrielle Ayllon
Ambrielle Ayllon, Culture Editor
Ambrielle Ayllon is the culture editor for The Federalist. She is a senior in the AMPA program at Alexander Hamilton Senior High. Ambrielle covers topics like music, fashion, entertainment, and pop culture. In addition, she is also interested in coffee, digital cameras, singing, cooking/baking, and playing guitar. You can share feedback and story ideas with Ambrielle through email at [email protected] or on Instagram @federalistathami.

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