• Anya Fernihough

Autumnal Music


As we transition into a new season of Fall, it brings about many changes. The leaves start to turn orange, it starts to get darker earlier in the day, and we begin to wonder where all our cosy sweaters are hidden in the depths of our closets. We may even subconsciously also transition into new genres of music, or different artists.

A common example of this is Christmas music; we tend to only listen to these songs around December time (unless you’re a bit odd like some of my friends who choose to listen to this all year round!). This is largely because that’s when the songs are meant to be listened to: they are meant specifically for this time of year. The lyrics depict cold winter mornings and carols sung by the fireplace; things that we commonly associate with this holiday period.

I’m not sure if autumnal music is a notable thing among a larger population. Perhaps it’s more subconscious and a person may not realise when they stop listening to certain songs on their Spotify playlists. Or maybe people are aware of this change and purposefully make the transition. There are countless Fall-related playlists on Spotify, and even if they don’t specifically have very autumnal titles, they have the general mood that appeals to people during this season.

This idea relates to all aspects of art, media and even of life. Rewatching Gilmore Girls for the umteenth time, drinking pumpkin spiced lattes, the orange glow of street lamps, the smell of old paperback books and digging out woollen hats and scarves from the bottom of drawers are a few things that come to mind. Naturally, as every romantic would, there is a specific soundtrack to this season. For some, it could be hard to imagine some of these activities without an appropriate accompaniment, and so that’s where this idea of seasonal music stems.

I am someone guilty of having too many songs in a single playlist, however I do try to ensure that my seasonal playlists are even slightly more condensed. Each season, I compile a selection of songs that match the vibe of this time of year, and then listen to this playlist almost religiously. By the end of November, I have curated the perfect autumnal playlist, which I then associate with nearly every aspect of the Fall season.

Personally, I tend to listen to almost exclusively bands such as Midlake and Howling Bells (and more recently The Smiths and The Strokes) in the Fall. Being my go-to bands for this season, I do tend to form an obsession with a select few songs or albums, much to the dismay of my friends who have to listen to me talk about them until Winter comes around. These bands’ music isn’t about this season particularly but that’s what I find myself listening to nonetheless. I think that this is resulting from a mixture of aesthetic and nostalgia. Looking at the album covers, names of songs and/or lyrics, they have sort of an overall theme of woodland or night-time. If I’m to think back to when I first started properly listening to these bands, it was around this time of year and so hearing their music transports me back to that time of discovery, and I will forever associate them with driving home at night, the lights of the approaching city glistening in the darkness (a bit romanticised, but let a girl live!).

This idea just proves how powerful music is, that it can take us back to a certain time or place in our lives, and let us relive the past, embracing the nostalgia. And just think of all the music that’s yet to be written, that will make us feel the same way; a new theme tune for our new experiences.