[Photo courtesy of Julia Weber]
By the ACRN Editorial Team
When it comes to seasonal soundtracks, ACRN’s Editorial Team takes autumn seriously. There are myriad songs that reflect any number of emotions associated with fall and we’ve chosen to round up a few of our personal favorites and discuss what makes them so special to us. You can check out our compiled playlist of the Editorial Team’s “fall faves” here.
What would a “fall favorites” list be without this quintessential fall track? “Autumn Sweater” is, in my opinion, the pinnacle of autumn anthems. The experimental rock band’s most popular song is mellow and cool, yet nonetheless maintains a quiet vulnerability that is distinct to Yo La Tengo’s discography. I’ve found it to be a timeless track and a recurring sound throughout my life. To me, it’s reminiscent of all things Athens – whether it be the warm orange tones of fall leaves on campus, chilly drives to Strouds Run with my fleece zipped up and my car windows cracked, time spent in the Seigfred ceramics studio or late nights with dear friends at Nelsonville Music Festival. If you haven’t figured it out yet, this song is the epitome of my autumn. I really love it, and I think you will too.
- Julia Weber, Features Editor
Upbeat and funky with what I can only describe as a distinctly walkable beat, “Galileo” is great for your sunny day cross-campus commutes. The stark voices of Amy Ray and Emily Sailers, who constitute the iconic folk-rock duo, compliment the jangling guitar and percussive instrumentation perfectly, making for a jaunty tune still layered with their signature harmonies. Because the Indigo Girls have always been one of my dad’s favorite bands, listening to them brings me back to countless drives to school with the windows rolled down despite the seasonal chill and an intense feeling of freedom. If you’re looking for songs that tell stories this fall, or are ready to try something new and kick back with some good old 90s folk rock, this song is catchy, rhythmic and perfect for those idyllic sunny autumn days.
- Phoebe Giordano, Contributor
When I hear “Dylan Thomas” by Better Oblivion Community Center (a duo comprising Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst, two legends), I see orange, crunchy leaves. I have two fond fall memories associated with the song, one from 2020, and one from 2021.
In 2020, I distinctly remember hearing the song while driving on 4th street in Columbus in the fall. I remember reaching the Hudson intersection and looking across the street at the neighborhood and seeing all of the beautiful trees with their shades of yellow and orange leaves, and the absolutely coated street covered in leaves. It was a beautiful sight, and this song was the soundtrack to that moment.
In 2021, I was supposed to go on a daytrip to the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus for a fall-themed event the Conservatory was hosting with my at-the-time boyfriend. However, we broke up before the trip, and I had already bought the tickets, so I went with some friends instead. We had a great time, and listened to a lot of music on the drive from Athens to Columbus. We spent most of the time in the car singing and enjoying each other’s company, and “Dylan Thomas” was playing right as we pulled into the parking lot. It is a happy memory.
With these two memories I have come to heavily associate “Dylan Thomas” with the fall season. It is a song that makes me happy; fall is my favorite season. It’s also just a great song in general, totally recommend giving it a listen!
- Venus Rittenberg, Editorial Director
When it comes to spooky heavy metal there are a lot of great options. My bias towards Iron Maiden always will lead me back to this song. The song invokes the feeling of a haunted fall night. The seven-plus minutes of the song are masterfully crafted to fill the listener with creeping chill in the intro and outro, while exploding with all the classic Maiden bombast in the verses and chorus. I think a major reason this song succeeds is just because the guitar riffs, from the intro, verse riff, and solos are all some of the most earwormy Iron Maiden has ever written, which says a lot, considering this is Iron Maiden we are talking about. The lyrics are really what make me associate this with fall and Halloween. “Fear of the Dark” tells the story of paranoia. Walking home alone, looking over your shoulders, feeling watched, and vulnerable. This is really well shown in the first verse, really hits home on my late night walks around campus during the night. Bruce Dickenson’s vocal delivery perfectly matches the ebb and flow of the song’s tone from being hushed and nervous to loud and bombastic. It is a statement to the song’s power that this has remained a live staple of the band for years. As someone who was lucky enough to see them this month, I can confirm the song still kicks ass live even to this day.
- Nicholas Kobe, Contributor
Donnie Darko is an excellent Halloween film paired with one of the best fall soundtracks of all time. While the movie is profoundly twisted and artistic, the soundtrack is full of absolute power ballads including “Never Tear Us Apart” by INXS. The song has hard-hitting rhythms and heavy crescendos that fill my heart with the fall spirit. This song is about love so strong that it is fated. Two people’s worlds collide to create a powerful love that can withstand thousands of years. What is more touching than that? Complete with an epic saxophone solo this song always puts me in a fall mood.
- Helena Karlstrom, Contributor
“Feel It All The Time” is another song that reminds me of fall because of the country twang it has. For some reason, I associate country music with the fall, and Soccer Mommy’s vocals and guitar strumming gets me in the right mood for the season. Off her most recent album, Sometimes, Forever, this is one of my favorites and I feel so cool when I’m walking around campus with this song blasting in my AirPods. I also really love Soccer Mommy’s way of writing, and the lyrics on this song are so fitting for this time of year as I’m straining myself mentally and physically with school and extracurriculars. While its production is upbeat, the core of the song itself has a self-loathing, gloomy undertone to it, and I also tend to experience these feelings towards the end of fall, knowing that the semester is almost over and winter is coming soon.
- Grace Koennecke, Columns Editor
When it comes to at least dressing the part for Halloween, few do it better than the saviors of the broken, the beaten and the damned, My Chemical Romance, especially considering Gerard Way’s absolutely wonderful costume choices on the band’s 2022 reunion tour. While there’s a few great MCR picks, I wanted to go with “House of Wolves”, a song I’d describe as being like entering the jazz club of hell. It’s a bouncy and swingy song, mainly due to Mikey Way’s bass line. The song is also dark and gritty courtesy of Ray Toro and Frank Iero’s incredibly complementary guitar playing. The lyrics about, “running like the devil because he’s never gonna leave you alone” in the breakdown or the chorus saying, “tell me I’m an angel, take this to my grave” are perfect for this sort of season. It’s got the camp of Halloween, while also packing a hell of a punch, which can be said for all of the best halloween songs.
- Nicholas Kobe, Contributor