For the Record: Autumn album essentials

Audrey Morrison, Features Editor

record player
In Lasso column “For The Record,” Audrey Morrison talks new albums, concerts, and more. (Graphic by Ellen Chadwick)

As we transition into fall, we enter a weird space in time. Spring has passed and so has the need for bright, hyperpop music, however; it’s still too early to listen to Christmas music (and if you do you’ll be shunned by your peers). So the question is: what should we listen to during the months of October and November? I have the perfect solution.

Here is a comprehensive list of autumnal album essentials, as well as the best songs to really get into those “fall vibes”. This is the type of stuff that you listen to around a campfire with friends on a cold, dry night. Or, on a walk with the multicolored leaves crunching beneath your feet. Fall music brings dynamism; it can be acoustic, or brooding, or sweet and riotous. It is familiar as any type of seasonal harmony, and it feels like home.

The song “Rivers and Roads” is loved by many and has over 146 million listens on Spotify. The song debuted on The Head and the Heart’s self-titled album in 2011. While virtually every song on the album brings visions of stark, empty roads and bundles of coats, here are a few that I find embody the season wholly. Listen to “Winter Song,” “Lost in My Mind,” “Sounds Like Hallelujah,” and of course: “Rivers and Roads.”

It is a rarity when Hozier blesses us with new music, so for now we’ll have to listen to his self-titled album (expanded version) from 2014. While his 2019 LP release was incredibly powerful and moving, it doesn’t quite illustrate fall in the same way. Hozier has a compelling and natural identity, which makes his music so accessible and enjoyable to listen to. There’s really nothing quite like it. Listen to: “Like Real People Do,” “Jackie and Wilson,” “Cherry Wine – Live,” and “In a Week (feat. Karen Cowley).” 

The self-titled album Vampire Weekend carries energy from springtime into autumn. It’s a perfect transition into the new season.  It is full of jangly guitars and ridiculously idiosyncratic lyrics. If Hozier is the embodiment of dark academia aesthetic, then Vampire Weekend is the manifestation of light academia. The song “Campus” is a popular sound on TikTok, but be sure to listen to some of VW’s other songs including: “Mansard Roof,” “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa,” “Oxford Comma.”

four albums
In the first edition of new Lasso column “For the Record,” Audrey Morrison curates the perfect fall listening experience.

My personal favorite Iron & Wine EP: Weed Garden is a perfect autumnal essential. It embodies rarity and solace and selfhood. It feels like wandering through a corn maze in a Harvest Festival, or watching the sun set as a tractor pulls you through the fields. Be sure to listen to: “Autumn Town Leaves,”  “Waves of Galveston,” and “Talking to Fog.”

This one doesn’t really count as an album, as it was released as a single in 2008. It is perhaps the most well known autumnal song – as it was famously covered by Pentatonix and Birdy. While the title reads as a yuletide carol, it is certainly better suited for the months of fall. Listen to “Isles” and the self-titled “White Winter Hymnal.”

Along with being one of the greatest albums ever created, Fleetwood Mac is an absolute fall favorite. Stevie Nicks’ raspy vocals are suited perfectly for this type of music and the lyrics are lilting and dreamlike. I can’t imagine autumn without listening to the songs “Landslide” or “Rhiannon.” Also be sure to check out “Say You Love Me” and “Warm Ways.”

The Glasgow-based band Belle & Sebastian released the album If You’re Feeling Sinister in 1996. Since then, it has been listened to on repeat by folk and rock appreciators for over 20 years. Stephen Thomas Erlewine, music critic, describes in their Spotify bio that their sound is an “intimate and majestic sound that is equal parts folk-rock and ‘60s pop”, as they are known for not just their “whimsy and surrealism”, but also for their “odd (and) unsettling lyric detail.” What better way to describe fall than whimsy and surreal, as well as odd and unsettling. Listen to: “The Fox In the Snow,” “The Boy Done Wrong Again,” and “Judy and the Dream of Horses.”

Find these songs in a curated playlist: