5 albums to listen to this fall season

Sage Dunlap, Life and Arts Reporter

With gray clouds and pumpkin scents arriving to replace the blistering summer heat, music can add to fall’s cozy ambience. For UT students celebrating cooler weather, The Daily Texan compiled a list of albums perfect for any fall playlist.



In their 2014 debut album, American indie-folk band PHOX combines the stripped-down qualities of classic folk music with the grand, dynamic musical arrangements of modern rock to create a solemn, nostalgic mood fit for fall. Beginning as a typical piano ballad, “Laura” builds up to a gut-punching crescendo of full drums, captivating guitar riffs and impressive vocal harmonies. Brimming with emotive string arrangements and atmospheric melodies, the seven-minute track “Raspberry Seed” remains interesting through its entire duration, communicating sorrow and regret with few lyrics.




The vibrance and innovation apparent in electro-pop singer-songwriter Kim Petras’ second studio album almost seems scary. A Halloween-inspired record, Turn off the Light presents a collection of spine-chilling interludes, pulsating dance beats and bold songs perfect for a spooky season playlist. Many instrumental tracks, such as “o m e n” and “Knives,” rely on retro synths and haunting sound effects, fortifying the atmosphere. Showcasing Petras’ vocal range, “Massacre” distorts the beloved Christmas tune “Carol of the Bells” into an eerie tune, transporting characters straight into an ’80s slasher. With rave-ready beats and sassy songwriting, this album will get everyone on the dance floor this holiday season.




Michelle Zauner produces a melancholic fall mood on her sophomore album — a unique mix of futuristic, synth-heavy tunes and ambient rock tracks that analyze the complexities of human relationships. Between rich interludes such as “Planetary Ambience” and “Here Come the Tubular Bells,” stand-out tracks like “Boyish” showcase rock and jazz influences on the collection. The record’s gloomy atmosphere provides a soothing soundtrack for the cold weather transition and motivating background music for studying.




Punisher embraces dreary melodies and whimsical lyrics to tell a story of heartbreak, trauma, self-discovery and the apocalypse. Wearing her signature skeleton suit on the cover, Bridgers incorporates many ominous metaphors into her songs. In “Halloween,” the Grammy nominee uses costumes and ghosts synonymously with people in a dying relationship. Apocalyptic closer “I Know the End” begins as a slow ballad about experiencing sadness and builds to an explosive, cacophonous end full of guitar thrashing and unhinged screaming, representing the end of the world. Despite its fantastical themes, Bridgers’ sophomore release remains universal to all listeners, providing a variety of themes rooted in unique musical arrangements.




Branching out from her bedroom-pop roots, Clairo presents many aspects of folk and jazz in her sophomore album. With soft, soothing vocals, the album’s instrumental production brings autumnal qualities.  Wordless “Joanie” — filled with jazzy synths and funky piano arrangements — is evocative of the 1970s. The less upbeat “Reaper” touches on the pressures of young motherhood, incorporating a more acoustic, wistful guitar arrangement reminiscent of traditional folk music. Overall, the album provides an easygoing listening experience to complement a slow fall morning.