Music Now: Albums for Autumn


Ella Fitzgerald is seen performing in Amsterdam, in 1961, in a shimmering black gown. Her soft and elegant vocals continue to capture the interest of jazz fans throughout the years.

Caroline Garcia, Section Editor

 The fall season is quickly approaching, which means it is time to whip out the oversized grandpa sweaters, sip on some pumpkin and chai lattes and appreciate the polychromatic foliage. Fall is overflowing with soothing vibes and needs the perfect soundtrack to complement its beauty. Here is a list of the coziest and most enchanting albums to add to your autumn playlist this year:

  There is one artist whose entire discography represents the epitome of fall. Bon Iver, an indie folk band founded by Justin Vernon, is the quintessential fall artist, creating delicate songs that feel like a warm mug in your hands on a chilly day, or the atmosphere of rain falling against your bedroom window. The self-titled album Bon Iver builds off of their first album by perfecting the comforting sonics and soft production of the latter. As a listener, you are transported to a peaceful place, surrounded by an orchestra of vocals and strings, though not overpowering. Vernon wrote this album from a  desolate cabin in the Wisconsin woods, and his vulnerability translates beautifully. Bon Iver is both dramatic and delicate, as it is an album that begs to be listened to in its entirety. This album is close to perfect, but there are a few tracks that are worth mentioning on their own. In the track “Holocene,” the soft strings and vocals come together to celebrate the reunion of people, places, and our shared experiences. “Wash.” is a delicate piano ballad that feels like new beginnings and familiar experiences all at once. The constant light chords on the piano are consistent, bringing comfort to the ears of all who listen. All in all, this album is Bon Iver’s best work and is one you will return to time and time again. 

  The second project that is a fall must-have is Sufjan Stevens’s Carrie & Lowell. It is a solitary album that discovers themes of love, grief, and loneliness. Sufjan Stevens is an artist known to explore a plethora of genres, including folk, electronic, and baroque pop. All of the songs on Carrie and Lowell lean towards indie, singer-songwriter songs that touch the hearts of all who listen to them. This album makes you feel personally addressed through its stunning production and raw vulnerability. Each track is soft and tender, making it perfect for the fall season, and is elevated in the presence of chilly weather. The most notable tracks include “Should Have Known Better” and “Fourth of July.” “Should Have Known Better” begins with a soothing acoustic guitar intro with melancholic lyrics and later brings in hopeful piano arpeggios and lyrics, taking the listener through the complicated emotional train Stevens is experiencing. Lastly, “Fourth of July” is a heartbreaking exploration of grief written mostly in questions that portray the confusion and sadness that surrounds death. Although not uplifting, Carrie and Lowell is soothing to the ears and despairing to the heart.

  For the final album, let’s throw it back to 1957. Nothing screams autumn more than the iconic duo of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong in Ella and Louis Again. Piggybacking off of their first collaboration from the previous year, Armstrong and Fitzgerald present their enchanting chemistry to form an enchanting collection of jazzy and elegant tracks. Their voices complement each other so gracefully in every song, resulting in pure elegance from start to finish. In addition to their vocals, Louis contributed his iconic trumpet playing on six songs, with the Oscar Peterson Trio accompanying on the piano. This album is perfect for easy listening and would pair perfectly with a warm coffee on any given fall day. You cannot go wrong with any song, but the opener “Don’t Be That Way” is an amazing start to the album, with gorgeous singing from the duo, and vivid imagery of rainy fall weather. This sentimental album is a perfect addition to your repertoire come the following weeks.

 All three of these albums have distinctly different sounds, but together they help to become the perfect background for the fall season. Whether you choose to listen to a jazz duo from decades prior or indie folk of the 2010s, grab your comfiest sweater, a hot coffee or tea, and enjoy these delightful albums for the upcoming period.