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The perfect autumn playlist to maximize coziness all season long

This image features a few album covers of certain tracks on my perfect autumn playlist. Covers include Fiona Apple’s classic, “Tidal,” and Ethel Cain’s “Preacher’s Daughter.” Photo credits: “Bewitched” album cover courtesy of Warner Chappell Music. “Tidal” album cover courtesy of Columbia Records. “Preacher’s Daughter” album cover courtesy of Daughters of Cain Records.“Stick Season: We’ll All Be Here Forever” album cover courtesy of Mercury Records.

As temperatures in Los Angeles drop below 75 degrees, Starbucks opens its pumpkin spice floodgates and Disneyland advertisements begin to promote frightful fun, one exhilarating truth becomes abundantly clear: it’s officially autumn.

Admittedly, my description of fall is comically Southern-Californian. Because autumn in L.A. essentially entails an unwavering marine layer and orange sunsets in lieu of changing leaves and heavy coats, this writer finds it difficult to fully embrace what is arguably the best season of the year.

In short, autumn not quite feeling like autumn is a serious issue. Luckily, there’s a simple and accessible remedy for this dilemma: music.

As an avid playlist curator, I feel it’s my job to orchestrate the perfect fall playlist to cultivate coziness, even when the weather is not-so-cozy. With 15 songs spanning jazz to folk, this nearly hourlong playlist is sure to accomplish that goal.

Though each track was added to this playlist with the utmost consideration, here are a few favorites I’d like to highlight:

Pale September” by Fiona Apple

Let me ask you a question: would it really be an autumn playlist without at least one Fiona Apple song? “Pale September” was the first song that came to mind when I was putting this playlist together, and rightfully so. It goes without saying that Apple is a musical, lyrical mastermind; this is especially true of “Pale September.” With her signature bewitching vocals and lyricism, Apple enchants listeners — and therefore claims her spot on this playlist.

Haunted” by Laufey

“This is SUCH a fall album,” reads a text I received from a friend about Icelandic-Chinese jazz singer Laufey’s newest record, “Bewitched.” And, it’s true. On “Haunted,” the singer’s powerful vocals mystify in a manner reminiscent of jazz greats like Billie Holiday and Norah Jones. Aesthetically speaking, this song brings an autumnal darkness to this playlist.

Hard Times” by Ethel Cain 

Hayden Silas Anhedönia — professionally known as Ethel Cain, the fictional persona under which Anhedönia performs — is one of alt-pop’s most sonorous rising voices. Throughout her album, “Preacher’s Daughter,” which follows Cain’s fictionalized life story, the artist dictates the epic highs and lows of deep Southern Americana and the decaying facade of the American dream. On “Hard Times,” Cain cuts deep, subtly ruminating on the horrors of her past and the subsequent, titular hard times that follow. This song is achingly beautiful both in lyricism and performance and therefore finds its way to this playlist.

Call Your Mom (with Lizzy McAlpine)” by Noah Kahan

Steeped in tender instrumentals paramount to any great folk song, Noah Kahan’s “Call Your Mom” brings a stint of melancholy to this playlist. Kahan’s vocals blend so sweetly with those of Lizzy McAlpine, who features on this version of the track. This song is reminiscent of rainier, slower moments — both essential thematic elements for any autumnal song.

May this playlist accompany all your pumpkin spice lattes, chunky sweaters and Rory Gilmore-inspired study sessions (note: it’s prime “Gilmore Girls” rewatch season … get busy!) Happy listening, and happy autumn! 

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About the Contributor
Siena Ferraro
Siena Ferraro, News Editor
Siena Ferraro joined the Oracle as a staff reporter in 2022. In 2023, she became News Editor. Outside of reporting for The Oracle, Siena leads the annual Used Book Fair and popup events, volunteers for For Goodness Cakes and tutors students in writing, history and executive functioning skills after school through Power Hour. In her free time, you'll likely find Siena reading for hours on end.

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