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  • Amy Norton

The Broad’s Seasonal Recommendations: What to Listen to this Autumn

Illustrations by Megan Le Brocq

The Broad’s Creative Editor, Amy Norton, has curated a list of ten songs to get you in that cozy, autumnal mood and see you through these cold, windy days. Our wider creative team has also put together a full playlist to soundtrack these special months, you can listen to the playlist, as well as Amy’s top picks, here.

The La’s – “There She Goes”

Gilmore Girls, Netflix

We’re starting with a song that opens the pilot episode of the television series that screams autumn, or fall, louder than any other: Gilmore Girls. I’m sure many people have an appreciation for this tune and its catchy guitar intro outside of this show, but the two are inextricably tied in my brain. I cannot partake in my crispy leaf-stomping stroll without thinking of Lorelai in her noughties autumnal outfit strutting across Stars Hallow to flirt with Luke Danes. Special shoutout to the other three songs from Gilmore Girls that made it to the playlist: “Girl From Mars,” “If I Could Write,” and of course “Where You Lead”- the is un-skippable theme song when Netflix gives me the option.

Hozier – “Wasteland, Baby!”

Hozier, The Irish Times

Put your headphones on loud and let Hozier’s mellow yet earthy, Irish voice transport you to some misty woodland scene. The isolated fingerpicked acoustic guitar in this song never fails to give me goosebumps. Hozier’s romantic and folkish discography lends itself perfectly to autumn, his poetic lyrics wrap us up warm. His latest album “Unreal Unearth” has captured my heart since its release in August. I can confidently predict that the track “First Time” will be my number one played in my Spotify Wrapped this year, I have a habit of putting it back to the beginning every time it fades out.

Paolo Nutini – “Writer”

Last Night in the Bittersweet album cover, Spotify

Moving swiftly on to the equally soothing Scottish voice of Paolo Nutini. “Writer” is a vulnerable song exploring the bittersweet nature of relationships, acceptance of their endings and the way we remember the people we have loved. I think the days getting colder and nights drawing in make a lot of us have similar contemplations. Paolo has written a huge variety of songs, but his softer ones like “Writer” hold a soft spot for me.

Taylor Swift – “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version)”

I couldn’t not mention Taylor Swift in this list. “All Too Well” is a bravely honest song that retells the story of an autumn romance from Taylor’s early twenties. The track was rereleased in Red (Taylor’s Version) in November 2021, almost a decade after the album first came out, so it’s full of autumn nostalgia. I would highly recommend listening to the ten-minute version of this song, it’s an excellent tune to put on whilst doing the washing up. Belting “autumn leaves falling down like pieces into place”, what’s not to love?

Harry Connick Jr – “It Had to Be You (Big Band and Vocals)”

When Harry Met Sally, Columbia Pictures

I sometimes refer to this season as “Meg Ryan Autumn” because of Ryan’s shining roles in three fantastic romantic comedies set at this time of year and written by the iconic Nora Ephron: You’ve Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally. All of which have marvellous soundtracks that transport you to autumn in New York. I have included a few tracks from each film in the playlist, but with a special mention to the song “It Had to Be You” by Harry Connick Jr, which features at the end of When Harry Met Sally. It’s jazzy, romantic, nostalgic, and perfectly sums up the story of this wonderfully classic 80’s film.

Flyte ft The Staves – “White Roses”

@__flyte__ Instagram

This next song is the title track of an EP released in 2019 by British folk-pop band Flyte. Flyte consistently produce touching tracks with stunning harmonies that tingle the senses. “White Roses” is a charming and warm song despite its mournful lyrics depicting loss. However, the song’s central symbol of the white rose is said to represent new beginnings. This month, Flyte released a new beautifully crafted, self-titled album and I think it is the perfect rainy Sunday listening experience. They recently sang “Tough Love”, a track from their new record with actor (and fan of the band) Florence Pugh. It is well worth checking out on their Instagram.

Dusty Springfield – “Spooky”

Dusty Springfield "Spooky," Genius

Changing to a 60s groovy vibe with the song “Spooky” by Dusty Springfield. I thought this song could fill the Halloween category for this autumnal playlist, with lyrics such as “Just like a ghost you’ve been haunting my dreams” and “Love is kinda crazy with a spooky little boy like you.” “Spooky” is a soulful and sexy song about a fickle male love interest. However, it was originally written by James Cobb and Buddy Buie to be about a spooky little girl, but Dusty gender-flipped the lyrics.

Laura Marling – “For You”

Laura Marling, The Independent

The song “For you” is the final track of Laura Marling’s album “Song For Our Daughter,” written as a series of life lessons and affirmations to an imaginary baby. “For You” is a soft and sentimental love song to her fictitious daughter inspired by Paul McCartney. It explores the feelings of finally obtaining a precious love that you have been dreaming about, and the desire to keep it safe. Lyrics such as “Now that I have you, I will not forget, what a miracle you are” seem to tell of the cherished arrival of a newborn baby. Marling’s partner and fellow musician, George Jephson, features as backing vocalist in this song. The couple welcomed their real baby, a daughter, in February of this year. I have also included Marling’s cover of “Kathy’s Song” by Simon & Garfunkel because I think it brings a similar cosy autumnal feeling.

Billy Joel – “Vienna”

Billy Joel 'The Stranger,' Spotify

Unarguably, an absolute classic. In his timeless track “Vienna,” Billy Joel is reminding us to slow down and be grateful for what is around us. Vienna serves as a metaphor for growing old, teaching us that we don’t need to rush our youth and we can afford to put our phones down every once in a while, because we won’t miss much. I think this song reminds me of autumn because of its connection to academic busy-ness, with lyrics like “you got so much to do, and only so many hours in the day.” He wants us to quit stressing and not to burn ourselves out because where we are supposed to be will wait for us. Thanks Billy!

Fleetwood Mac – “Silver Springs” (Live at Warner Brothers Studios)

This legendary song was written by Stevie Nicks about her breakup with band member Lindsey Buckingham. After the controversy of “Silver Springs” being left out of the Rumours album, the song was finally given the moment it deserved when performed at Warner Brothers Studios when the band reunited in 1997. Watching Stevie lock eye contact with Lindsey as she belts these heartbreakingly powerful lyrics and he’s playing the guitar; we’re seeing the explosion of their love story and decade’s worth of tension in front of our very eyes. “You’ll never get away from the sound of the woman that loves you”- truly chilling and iconic. The video clip on YouTube is unmissable, go and listen to Stevie telling her story and sing it with her. I’m counting this as an autumnal pick because the opening lyrics say the word “autumn,” and that is my excuse to be able to recommend this song. I will never tire of it.

Make sure you check out The Broad’s other seasonal picks on the creative section of our website!

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