Looking for some albums to cozy up to this fall?
It’s officially spooky sad season. The sun goes down earlier, the leaves are changing and the weather is getting colder. To prepare for the abrupt change of seasons, here is a list of 15 albums that will shed some warmth.
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Grab your pumpkin spice latte and get ready for some albums to cozy up to this fall.
Port Of Morrow – The Shins
The Shins’ brilliant 2012 LP Port Of Morrow will bring you all the comfort you need during these windy and wet autumn weeks. From “Simple Song”, an easy stand-out that infectiously propels a heart-wrenching melody, to the chilling sea-side echo “September”, the record pleasantly reels you into a whirl of emotion. The record remains grounded but is upbeat when it needs to be. Even with obvious nods to autumn on tracks like “Fall Of ’82”, Port of Morrow will have you floating like a leaf fallen from a tree.
Punisher – Phoebe Bridgers
Phoebe Bridgers’ 2020 critically acclaimed Punisher sees Bridgers truly leaning into her full range of musical ability. The 11-track collection is perfect for an introspective season such as autumn, as the record is primarily made up of downcast lyrics that explore self-destructive love, broken faith, and the difficulty of recovery. Bridgers seems to understand herself as a fully formed artist, leaning into her strengths with full force. From the sole up-tempo track on the record, “Kyoto,” to the (timely) spooky emo-folk ballad, “Halloween,” Bridgers’ witty songwriting is unapologetically sharp. Grab some Kleenex, watch the leaves fall and plunge into the world of Punisher.
Repave – Volcano Choir
Bon Iver’s “Holocene” or even “Skinny Love” are two extremely cozy songs and it would have been easy for me to include their respective records on this list. However, Justin Vernon’s side project Volcano Choir has a beautiful album that exudes grandiose autumnal spirit. Repave, released in 2013, is packed with soothing harmonies and poetic ruminations. From elevating angelic vocals on “Keel” to the ethereal echos floating atop of finger-picking acoustics and solemn piano on “Alaskans”, the record is a stirring experience throughout. “Comrade” is another stand out with Vernon’s signature electro-folk guitar riffs and vocals. If you crave a touch more of Bon Iver to keep you cozy this fall, this one’s for you.
More Or Less – Dan Mangan
Vancouver singer-songwriter’s fifth album More or Less is thoughtfully soft and cozy. “Lay Low” is a tragically beautiful song that is barely more than a whisper, “Fool For Waiting” a heart-rending ballad, “Can’t Not” a dreamy trance. More or Less sees an intimate side of Mangan, it’s an passionate outpour of emotion that will reach listeners personally.
Morning Phase – Beck
Morning Phase is Beck’s twelfth studio album and perhaps one of the safer, less experimental records from his extensive discography. Morning Phase evokes a sense of both renewal and loss, which a new season often brings. The proper opener “Morning” is incredibly warm and emotive, you can practically feel the sun beams pouring down on a still autumn morning. Other highlights such as “Blue Moon” and “Unforgiven”, Morning Phase is an easy listen whether it’s for your evening walk or your early drive to work.
Blonde – Frank Ocean
Frank Ocean’s Blonde is a masterpiece (if you weren’t yet aware). The incredibly versatile and emotionally-charged LP will have you sobbing on the spot. It’s packed entirely with shimmering production, dreamy reverb-heavy vocals, spacious overtones and rich, three-dimensional lyricism. Revisiting Blonde just in time for autumn because once the cold weather hits, it’s sad person season.
Titanic Rising – Weyes Blood
Weyes Blood’s 2019 ambitious fourth album Titanic Rising wanders a whimsical landscape. The record blends elements of the ‘70s with modern sounds, producing a psychedelic twist on comforting acoustics. It’s impossible not to get lost in singer-songwriter Natalie Mering’s enchanting arrangements especially on tracks like “Something to Believe”, “Movies” and the ostentatious “Andromeda”; it’s like meandering through a fantastical forest that never ends.
Sundowner – Kevin Morby
Kevin Morby’s 2020 LP Sundowner is a brilliantly intimate LP that brings solace in simplicity. As an ode to the American Midwest and American rock history, Morby blends the most striking elements of indie, folk and country music. Stuffed with rich imagery, each song tells a new story that orbits nature. Highlights include “Campfire” with field recordings from an actual campfire, “A Night at the Little Los Angeles” a stunning seven-minute melodrama that reflects Morby’s incredible perception and “Valley” the charming album opener. Sundowner is a treasure that captures the moment of radiating warmth before dark swallows the earth.
Veckatimest – Grizzly Bear
Veckatimest always feels like autumn to me – the swelling chorus in “Two Weeks”, the muted groove “Cheerleader”, the haunting “Ready, Able” and the piano-led closing track “Foreground”. The lush production is tense, it suggests the departure of a fun, easy-going summer and the beginning of a more serious and meditative season.
Sun Leads Me On – Half Moon Run
Half Moon Run’s unique sophomore record is equivalent to the moment the sun peeps out of the horizon during sunrise or sunset. It’s soft but rough around the edges with meaningful poetic lyrics that will have you paying attention throughout your entire listen. Filled with the trio’s signature harmonies, fascinating instrumentation and striking lead vocals, the album is comforting during both its highs and lows.
Shore – Fleet Foxes
We all need a little warmth to get through the cold seasons, and what better way than to revisit Fleet Foxes’ recent success Shore. With ethereal and dreamy songs such as “Sunblind” and “Can I Believe You”, Shore will keep your spirits high when you most need it.
The Pet Parade – Fruit Bats
This year, Eric D Johnson celebrated 20 years of Fruit Bats, releasing his stirring ninth studio album The Pet Parade. The folk-rock record is delicately composed of 11 tracks that weave flowing melodies, honeyed vocals, and swelling riffs into a unique poetic scene. Piling warm guitar riffs and subtle background vocals, “Discovering” is a stunning track that tells us not to be afraid where “The Balcony” is a laidback sun-lit anthem. The Pet Parade will set the dreamy backdrop to the new introspective season.
The Loved Ones – Flyte
Flyte’s 2017 debut The Loved Ones seeks to offer comfort within darker lyrical themes. Between chilling synth melodies on “Sliding Doors”, poignant soaring vocals on “Faithless” and a cover of Alvvays’ “Archie, Marry Me”, the record is richly diverse, taking you on an emotional rollercoaster.
Welcome Home – Hannah Cohen
Hannah Cohen’s alluring third album from 2019, Welcome Home sparkles with soft warmth. Captivating vocals effortlessly sail throughout the record but they don’t float alone. The instrumentation is incredibly lush and the production carefully allows each layer to shine. An immediate stand-out, “Dissolving” will make you feel like, well, like your dissolving. This LP will have you wondering if the goosebumps on your arms are from the music or just the cool autumn air.
Songs from the Valley – John Vincent III
John Vincent III slows it right down on his honey-sweet LP Songs from the Valley. The 2019 record is short, simple but effective with amiable riffs and effortlessly dreamy lead vocals. In a statement Vincent professed, “I hope someone listens to Next To You while they are falling in love, or Slow Song while they are crying alone in their bedroom. I hope people play my music while they’re cruising along the coast of Washington, wondering why they are even there at that moment at all. Whatever it is, I just want my music to make people feel something”.