Seven Songs for Autumn

Alexa I Stern

Fallen leaves scatter the Quad lawn.

It's officially autumn, which means at this point you should have accepted the changing weather. But if not, here are some tracks brought to you by the Arts Board guaranteed to get you out of summer mode and ready for the season of cider, state fairs, and head colds.

"Autumn" – Joanna Newsom

Even though she takes a somewhat grim perspective on the coming of fall (“Driven through by her own sword / Summer died last night, alone”), this California harpist's orchestral, eight-minute ode to the season is a properly majestic way to welcome it in.

"Sometimes in the Fall" – Phoenix

Now that you’ve gotten over the death of summer, it’s time to cheer up. This hard-driving and syncopated Phoenix cut, which is probably about hooking up in autumn (it's always tough to tell with Phoenix), should set the tone well for your season.

"September in the Rain" – Frank Sinatra

Beats out Earth, Wind, and Fire’s better-known “September” by merit of its more Harvard-relevant meteorology. EWF's song claims there “never was a cloudy day,” which is clearly false to anyone who's spent time in Cambridge during the month. Instead, listen to Ol' Blue Eyes while skipping over the unbelievable number of puddles scattered around campus.

"October" – Jonas Alaska

Okay, so maybe this jaunty, acoustic track is actually a morbid tale about a bunch of people dying in a shipwreck—but to be fair, Jonas Alaska is from Norway , and that's pretty much what every Norwegian song is about.

"November" – Plume Giant

Even though the folk group Plume Giant is composed of three recent Yale graduates, let’s give credit where credit’s due, especially with regards to this sparse, perfectly harmonized track off the band’s 2012 debut LP Callithump. The gloomiest month of the year has never sounded more gorgeous.

"Autumn Music 2" and "On the Nature of Daylight" – Max Richter

With his dissonant violin-based pieces, Richter is the perfect modern composer for autumn—not too melancholy, not too cheesy. On a windy autumn morning, put on either of these songs and revel in your wistfulness.

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