Technically, the first day of fall this year is Sept. 22, but since Starbucks has now officially released all of its pumpkin-flavored treats, autumn is unofficially here. Even though the temperature has not yet cooled down, it’s never too early to start getting excited about the leaves changing color and weather that makes it acceptable to wear jeans and sweaters every day. Here are 18 songs to help you feel the fall vibes even while you’re stuck inside.
“Japanese Denim” by Daniel Caesar
Starting off this playlist is a song that is perfect for the transition period between summer and fall. The light and breezy instrumentation of “Japanese Denim” is reminiscent of lazy summer days, while the lyrics are an ode to the ultimate staple of fall fashion — blue jeans.
“Cigarette Daydreams” by Cage the Elephant
The acoustic guitar throughout and the relaxed but sincere vocalization of “Cigarette Daydreams” combine to make this song feel at once mellow and up-beat, like a cool but sunny autumn day.
“cardigan” by Taylor Swift
While the entire album “Folklore” single-handedly saved the summer, this particular track is undeniably more suited to fall. In the second song on this playlist dedicated to a fall fashion staple, Taylor Swift really does make you want to cozy up in a cardigan. Bonus — for maximum coziness, try the “cabin in candlelight” version.
“September” by Earth, Wind & Fire
This song may not exactly feel like fall, but you just cannot get to the end of the month of September without listening to it at least once, preferably on the 21st night. For a version with acoustic autumn vibes, try Taylor Swift’s Spotify Single.
“Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman
If you stretch your imagination ever so slightly, this classic’s gentle guitar riff sounds like autumn leaves falling. Also, the lyrics revolve around wanting to run — or drive — away from a stressful life, an idea that many college students can relate to in the fall, the season responsible for reinstating school-induced stress.
“Rhiannon” by Fleetwood Mac
Aside from sounding like fall, “Rhiannon” is also centered around “an old Welsh witch,” as Stevie Nicks often puts it. Halloween is one of two truly notable fall holidays, so a song about a witch is an appropriate inclusion in a fall playlist.
“House of the Rising Sun” by Lauren O’Connell
This cover of a cover uses prominent drumming and lazy vocals to mellow out the sound of the classic, making it extra cozy and fall-appropriate.
“Skinny Love” by Bon Iver
Both the song and the cover art are highly evocative of a frosty fall morning. While you might be more familiar with Birdy’s piano ballad version, the original is an indie folk song that may make you want to wander through a forest and contemplate your life.
“California Dreamin’” by The Mamas and the Papas
Yes, the song is about a “winter’s day,” but it is also about all the leaves being brown, and the leaves changing color is one of the best things about fall. There are also plenty of cool fall days that induce California dreaming, so it still works.
“Clouds” by BØRNS
One of BØRNS’s more relaxed tracks, this dreamy tune is basically a musical fuzzy blanket.
“Drumming Song” by Florence + the Machine
As the title suggests, this song has lots of drumming — creating a perfect mixture of indie and rock sounds, two genres undeniably suited to fall.
“Sweet Creature” by Harry Styles
Folk, acoustic and Harry Styles, who is good at any time of year.
“It Had to Be You” by Harry Connick, Jr.
Just look at the cover art for this song. Or better yet, watch the movie that it’s from — “When Harry Met Sally” is an iconic rom-com set mostly during the fall. The song itself is also very lovely and comfy, as long as you enjoy a bit of jazz.
“exile (feat. Bon Iver)” by Taylor Swift
Another gem from “Folklore” perfect for a chilly or gloomy autumn day.
“Flightless Bird, American Mouth” by Iron & Wine
“Twilight” is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, but one thing that most people do seem to agree on is that it has a great soundtrack, and this is one of the best songs on it. It has a very soft acoustic sound, and the imagery from the “Twilight” scene that it's featured in is somewhat autumnal, complete with fairy lights and a cardigan.
“Trouble” by Cage the Elephant
Another upbeat alternative number from Cage the Elephant, complete with laid-back, slightly muffled vocals to break up the slower songs it’s sandwiched between.
“Somewhere Only We Know” by Lily Allen
This one spends a lot of time describing nature, which could potentially work for any season, but the fallen tree seems most appropriate for fall. Keane’s version is also good, but Lily Allen’s version is a bit lighter and more comforting to listen to.
“Sweater Weather” by The Neighbourhood
Rounding out the playlist is a song dedicated to the weather that fall brings with it. This weather enables us to wear possibly one of the best clothing items ever — the sweater.
Listen to the full playlist here: