The Five: Best Songs To Get You Excited For Fall

Enter autumn. Come have a listen to our favorite tunes to celebrate the change in seasons.

Chilly air, red leaves, wind weaving through window screens…the transition of summer to fall is never a surprise, but always a beautiful phenomenon. To enhance your autumnal mood, we sifted through albums upon albums to find the perfect fall songs. Below are a few of our favorites. As always, stay up to date with The Five by following the playlist here and getting in on the conversation by posting your personal picks below. Welcome, fall!


“Catch the Wind” by Donovan.  The distinct sound and voice of folk-inspired musician, Donovan, is a perfect fit for any fall day. Laid-back and lyrically moving, “Catch the Wind” is like a warm cup of tea.

“Stay Gold” by First Aid Kit.  “The sun shone high those few summer days / Left us in a soft, wide-eyed haze / It shone like gold / It shone like gold.” With an opening verse like that and voices that sound like liquid gold velvet, First Aid Kit’s “Stay Gold” will be sure to excite you about autumn. My humble suggestion: play this song in the morning as you wake.

“The Only Living Boy in New York” by Simon & Garfunkel. This song, written by Paul Simon and performed by Simon and Garfunkel in 1970 makes me want to cozy up on the couch with my Oma’s hand-knit blankets and a stack of books. Comforting and soothing, the background vocals of Simon and Garfunkel, recorded in an echo chamber, are reminiscent of the wind.


“Twelve-Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon)” by The Mamas and The Papas. You may be thinking, but what about “California Dreamin’?! I mean, c’mon… “all the leaves are brown, and the skies are grey!”  Though I love that song too, “Twelve-Thirty” is a driving song of momentum, yet romantic in its harmonies. The legendary music arrangements and combination of male and female harmonies of The Mamas and Papas are classically fall.

“So Long, Marianne” by Leonard Cohen. Ahh, the poetic genius that is Leonard Cohen. This song is said to be inspired by a woman named Marianne, who Cohen met on the Greek island of Hydra and who he said was the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen. The two lived together for many years and she went on to inspire many of Cohen’s poems and songs. Now, “So Long, Marianne” is serving us inspiration for the beginning of a new season.


+Now it’s your turn! I would love to hear which songs are on your fall mixes.

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  1. That is one good playlist!
    I’ve seen First Aid Kit live and they are so brilliant! That song is perfect for this time of year. I love The Boxer Rebellion too (especially Caught by the light), Langhorne Slim’s Restless, Mykonos by Fleet Foxes and everything Dylan and Cash for autumn.

  2. Great choices Renske! Love your call on Fleet Foxes, Dylan, and Cash — I will have to check out the other two :) You reminded me that Bill Callahan would fit nicely on this list too. xx, Joanna

  3. LOVE all of these songs. I feel like Simon and Garfunkel are really good to listen to in the fall and winter; almost all of their work has a cold-weather vibe…Leonard Cohen, too. “Marianne” is one of my favorites. Great list!!

  4. Hi Joanna!
    I loved your list, many of the songs are some of my personal all year favourites! Being a swede, I’m very spoiled with great music from our little country and I have seen first aid kit several times. I would like to add a song to this list that I both think is suitable for autumn, but also very much for free people, namely Wonderlust by Crying Day Care Choir. CDCC is a Swedish folk trio (consisting of me, my husband and my brother in law :) and I think our band embodies what freee means to me. The song is on spotify, and we also have a video for it, where we are just living life and being free with our loved ones this past summer. I would love for you to hear our song and see our video.
    Lots of love, Sara and CDCC

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