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Autumn Jams

Alexis Ramirez, Editor

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The rapid development of technology in recent decades has allowed for the proliferation of personal music listening. Everywhere you look—buses, trains, school hallways—a multitude of people are privately jamming out to their favorite songs. Everyone has developed their own unique, often dynamic, soundtrack.

Every song evokes a different mood or vibe. It’s important to find the songs that make you feel the way you want to. No one song is fit for every occasion. Some songs will cause you to vividly imagine yourself driving down the PCH with your friends on a warm California summer night. Other songs will place you at a preppy Christmas party in a cozy Rhode Island home.

With the rise of the internet, music has become social once again. Music is something that can easily be shared and enjoyed with others. Services like Spotify and Apple Music have built-in social features that allow you to share your music taste and take a peek at someone else’s personal soundtrack.

In this article, three members of the Whitney Young community and myself will share our favorite autumn tracks. Perhaps you’ll find some that you can integrate into your own soundtrack. For your convenience, I’ve made a playlist containing all songs discussed in this article along with some extra autumn jams. Enjoy!

 

Angie Lopez, 19’

“Any time I have time to myself, like walking home from school or just getting to class, I have my headphones in. If I’m ever doing homework and I don’t have to think much, listening to something is a must, usually something without words. Church music works surprisingly well when you’re trying to concentrate. Allegri’s ‘Miserere mei, Deus’ is a personal favorite of mine. As to what music I’m into, getting bored of music really fast lets me listen to a variety of styles. I can’t pinpoint what it is I like but psychedelic pop, alternative rock, and classic Spanish rock are what I usually rotate around. Music somehow lets you express and alleviate yourself all at the same time. There’s nothing better than enjoying a nice day out while listening to a new song that makes you feel like no other song ever has. Music will always be a happy place in my life.”

 

The Smiths, ‘This Night Has Opened My Eyes’

Hatful of Hollow, 1984

Indie Rock

 

Listening to The Smiths is a trope in American film and literature, featured in works like The Perks of Being a Wallflower and 500 Days of Summer. “This summer I grudgingly delved into the band I thought was pretentious and I would never listen to,” Angie recounted, “but the jovial ‘This Charming Man’ was too good to pass up on. Now that summer’s over this more melancholic, dark song, [This Night Has Opened Up My Eyes], matches the change in season.” This track was heavily inspired by and retells the events of Shelagh Delaney’s 1958 play, A Taste of Honey. The melancholic, eerie mood is set immediately by Morrissey’s opening lyric, “In a river the color of lead.” Autumn is a highly contrasting season with the brightly-colored leaves set against the neutral grey sky. Morrissey’s line, “And I’m not happy / And I’m not sad,” fits this common observation perfectly.

 

Zyana Cabrera, 19’

“I listen to music every day. I’m into a lot of different kinds of music, but I listen mostly to 80’s music. For me, music can be everything from relaxing to energizing, and in my life, it accompanies almost everything I do.”

 

The Neighbourhood, ‘Sweater Weather’

I Love You., 2013

Alternative Rock

 

Sweater Weather is a modern day classic and a keystone in autumn music. “It’s basic, but the title makes it the perfect autumn song,” Zyana commented, “It’s a chill song but fun to listen to while walking through a leaf-covered sidewalk.” ‘Sweater Weather’ sums up all the teenage angst that comes with the autumn months. On this track, Jesse Rutherford, lead vocalist of The Neighbourhood, is offering to hold his significant other in his sweater to keep her warm. In reality, Rutherford is offering to be the one to cheer her up when she’s down.

 

Kataleena Huynh, 21

“I listen to music, mainly pop, every day. Since I’m a dancer, music plays a huge role in my life as without it dance would be significantly less interesting. Dance is really all about how you move to the music.”

 

Earth, Wind & Fire, ‘September’

September (Single), 1978

Funk/R&B

 

It doesn’t get much more autumn-esque than iconic Earth, Wind, & Fire hit ‘September,’ with its opening line, “Do you remember the 21st night of September?” referring to the evening of the autumn equinox. ‘September’ is well known for being a crowd pleaser. “I think that it’s just a fun upbeat song that you’ll always sing or dance to and really just have fun with whoever you’re with. Autumn is really all about having fun with your friends and family,” Kataleena commented.

 

Me, 19’

I’m a self-described music junkie. I’m always listening to music and exploring new artists and genres. Every Friday you’ll find me checking out all the new releases for the week. I enjoy curating music and throwing together playlists for all sorts of moods, occasions, and purposes. If you’re interested in discovering new music, you can find my Spotify playlists here.

 

The Mountain Goats, ‘Fall of the Star High School Running Back’

All Hail West Texas, 2002

Folk Rock

 

Sitting in the stands with your friends watching a football game on a cold autumn afternoon is a key part of the high school experience, so much so that it’s become a trope in American film and literature. ‘Fall of the Start High School Running Back’ perfectly encompasses the nostalgic nature of the high school football game while telling the story of a stellar young man whose injury, poor choices, and the harsh American judicial system led to his life nosediving.

 

Vampire Weekend, ‘Oxford Comma’ [Explicit]

Vampire Weekend, 2008

Indie Rock

 

Vampire Weekend sounds more British than The Beatles despite hailing from New York City, so much so that a lot of people continue to believe they’re British. Vampire Weekend manages to perfectly convey colonial New England in a song so seemingly bizarre with references ranging from the literary to the Lil Jon. This song goes down like a smooth bottle of Scotch on an autumn night by the fireplace.

 

Tyler, The Creator ‘November’ [Explicit]

Flower Boy, 2017

Rap

 

Flower Boys it best paired with a drive at golden hour. November is an overlooked gem on Tyler’s most impressive work to date. Tyler starts the song off with a surprisingly relatable series of materialistic worries and concerns. He yearns to go back to his “November” and leaves the listener with the question, “What’s your November?” November is the best you’ve ever felt in your life. It can be a person, a moment, a time period, or a place. November is the time to reminisce, feel nostalgic, and reflect.

 

Snail Mail, ‘Heat Wave’

Lush, 2018

Indie Rock

 

The cold of autumn and winter is upon us. It’s time for pumpkin spice lattes, hot chocolate, oversized hoodies, and cuffing season. Everyone wants someone to love and hold them through the cold autumn and winter months. Lindsey Jordan, lead vocalist of Snail Mail, knows the pain of unreciprocated love. She’s so in love with “green eyes” that she’s willing to settle for only sometimes, those rare moments when, for a split second, everything is perfect and you think that it could work. However, ‘Heat Wave’ is not your ordinary sappy love song. Jordan displays development throughout the track, ending with the powerful line, “I’m not into sometimes.”

 

NIKI- Vintage

Zephyr, 2018

R&B

 

NIKI is an incredibly talented 19-year-old Indonesian singer who is part of the 88rising collective, a musical platform and label mainly for Asian artists. In ‘Vintage,’ NIKI reminisces about a past relationship that she recently got out of. As she recalls memories from that relationship, she begins to realize her regrets. She acknowledges that both of them are better off alone, but she still wishes they could go back to those good times.

 

Everyone experiences music differently. Everyone has their own unique taste and listening style. Ultimately, the way you think about music is up to you. I like to think of all music as part of a soundtrack, perfect only for certain occasions. Many people like to listen to “seasonal” music, music that reflects the time of the year. Whether or not you’re one of those people, I hope that you have enjoyed discovering new songs and their connections to the beautiful season that is autumn.

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Autumn Jams