Five Quintessential Fall Albums


Sometimes I wonder if I am the only person who has albums specifically important to me that I listen to more during the fall. I’ve had this conversation with a decent amount of friends and family and I’m usually the only one who specifically categorizes my music into seasons.

With that being said, I have collected a handful of albums over the years that I tend to listen to much more often during the fall than any other time of the year, whether that may be because I find the music to sound like fall, or that I discovered said album during the fall at some point in my life.

Below are five albums that I have come up with that I particularly enjoy listening to during the fall and why. I had a lot of fun writing this and I hope you enjoy reading it and HAPPY OCTOBER 1ST!

In Order of Release:

To Curl Up With A Good Book – Barton Hallow, The Civil Wars (February 2011)

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This album was definitely the one that not only got me EXTREMELY interested in music, but folk music, too. I have always had a fairly broad taste in music and I will listen to anything once: I don’t really have a specific genre of music that I prefer over another, as you can see once you finish scrolling through this piece. However, listening to Barton Hallow repeatedly when I was 16 and 17-years-old (that makes me feel extremely old now) definitely got me interested in similar styles of music: I have developed this taste for musicians like Mumford & Sons, The Staves, The Head & The Heart and Fleet Foxes (to just name a few) and I credit this discovery to this album for sure.

I also have recently been such a huge fan of Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks’ solo career, and I don’t think these are artists that I would have necessarily become fans of if it not were for discovering this album at a young age.

Not many people know that I sang in advanced choir from the time I was in second or third grade up until I was a senior in high school, which has definitely influenced my taste in music: I absolutely have a guilty pleasure for music that puts an emphasis on singing abilities, which is why I love The Civil Wars so much – they truly have some of the best harmonizing vocals that I have ever heard – and it makes me so upset every time I remember that they are no longer making music together (they released a second album together, titled The Civil Wars, in 2013).

I think there’s something particularly special about listening to slow, singer-songwriter type of music during the fall and I will continuously come back to this album every fall.

Key Tracks:  To Whom It May Concern, Poison & Wine, My Father’s Father

About the Artist: The Civil Wars, comprised of Joy Williams and John Paul White, received four Grammys before their break-up in 2014: including a Grammy for the song “Safe & Sound” from The Hunger Games, that Taylor Swift co-wrote.

To Reminisce And Be Emo About The Past – The 1975 – The 1975 (September 2013)


I would never be able to write a piece on my favorite albums to revisit during the fall without including The 1975’s debut album. I have such specific memories tied to this album and this time in my life: the album was released during the first few weeks of my freshman year of college. I remember listening to it at the gym, on the L going to class, and all the moments in between.

Obviously since this was The 1975’s first album release, they weren’t nearly as popular as they are now. It’s always a really cool thing to see an artist at the beginning stage of their career and I was able to see them in the basement of The Rave in Milwaukee a month or so after this album was released, I think my ticket was like $13 and the bar held only 350 people. I even snuck into the band’s meet and greet after the show.

Regardless of these tidbits of information, I think a lot of people fell in love with this album because it was such a dramatic take on the transition from your teen years to being a young adult (at least that was why I loved it so much). It’s really cool to see a band become the soundtrack of your life and certain experiences and this album did that for me, which is why I love to listen to it every fall and reminisce on the memories I have associated with it and thinking about my personal growth, and it’s cool to mirror that with the band’s growth, too.

Key Tracks: “The City,” “Heart Out,” “Menswear”

About the Artist: Band members of The 1975 have been creating music with each other since they met in high school at 15-years-old and have released music under a variety of band names before settling on “The 1975.”

To Get All Up in Your Feels – Hozier, Hozier (September 2014)


First off, are we ever going to get another Hozier album? Second, will I ever be able to see him perform live? I’ve missed Hozier live in Chicago three times now and I seriously think I am cursed with it. Third, Hozier’s biggest song “Take Me To Church” is close to a billion plays on Spotify.

I am still obsessed with this album because I love listening to Hozier (real name Andrew) sing about love. Clearly since I love Taylor Swift, I’m not too unfamiliar with listening to musicians produce music about the topic, but there’s something so special to Hozier’s voice, stye of music, and songwriting that makes me so obsessive with every track on the album.

Now I would totally listen to this album at any time of the year because it’s probably one of my favorites of all time, but I feel like it is just meant to be listened to while watching the leaves fall and the sun setting. I may just be really dramatic with my desires to listen to specific music during the fall, but I don’t think you can get any more FALL than this album.

Key Tracks:  “In A Week,” “Like Real People Do,” “Cherry Wine”

About The Artist: Andrew Hozier-Byrne, age 27, grew up in Ireland and attended Trinity College in Dublin before dropping out to record demos for Universal Music. His hit single “Take Me to Church” addresses personal issues with the Catholic Church. He also released a video for the song “Cherry Wine” in 2016 to raise awareness for domestic violence.

To Study for Midterms or Make a Deadline at Work – Absent Sounds – From Indian Lakes (October 2014)


The music industry’s best kept secret has GOT to be From Indian Lakes – or maybe I’m just bias because they are easily my favorite band. If you know me at all, you know how much I rave about their music and how much this album has influenced my life at all the right times. The three year anniversary of Absent Sounds is right around the corner (October 4) and I will definitely be listening to it on repeat to celebrate.

My close friends know that I had my emo pop-punk phase in middle school and early high school and musicians like All Time Low and Mayday Parade have influenced my music taste. I would consider that this phase has transitioned into being fans of more punk indie bands like The Front Bottoms and From Indian Lakes: two bands that I consider to be seriously talented songwriters for writing very emotional and personal lyrics.

From Indian Lakes doesn’t really have all that many outwardly HAPPY songs and that’s a turn off for some people, but Absent Sounds has been an album that I will continuously go back to when I feel like I need to listen to someone else’s emotions when I don’t want to deal with my own (alas, it never works because I always project my own emotion onto the song I’m listening to). The album also creates the perfect soundtrack that’s needed to finish a project at work or finish up that final study session for your midterms.

Key Tracks: “Sleeping Limbs,” “Am I Alive,” “Runner”

About The Artist: Lead singer and songwriter Joey Vannucchi grew up in an isolated part of Yosemite/Indian Lakes in California and took up playing instruments and songwriting to pass the time. He’s now married and lives in New York (and if by any chance you’re reading this please tour and come back to Chicago soon).


To Satisfy Your Inner Pop Star – 1989, Taylor Swift (October 2014)


While I’m sure this is one of those albums that I mentioned that just came out during a specific time in my life, I think that 1989 is a great fall album to listen to – and you can get ready for Taylor’s next release in November! Released just about three years ago, 1989 was a bold departure from Swift’s country-pop past, and was received positively by fans and critics. The first song that particularly got me excited about the album was when Taylor Swift released Out Of The Woods as the fourth and final promotional single for the album.

A lot of people would never consider 1989 (or Taylor Swift) to have “darker” or “moody” pop songs, but I think songs on 1989 like “Out Of The Woods,” “I Know Places” and “Wonderland” are glimpses into what I think she can do best and I really hope that we see those sorts of moments on Reputation, which is out on November 10 this year. I also think they are perfect transition songs from summer to fall, just like how the album plays on a lot of different emotions. All in all, I think that this album in particular is very much fall-esque more than the other albums Swift released for sure.

Key Tracks: My favorite songs off of 1989 are Out Of The Woods, Clean, Wildest Dreams and New Romantics.

About the Artist: Taylor Swift has received 10 Grammys and was included in Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time” in 2015.

So there you have it: my favorite albums to listen to during the fall. I have already started listening to a few new releases that will definitely be included in my round up next year. Do you have any albums you like to listen to during a specific time of year rather than the others? Let me know in a comment below!

– Kristin




2 comments on “Five Quintessential Fall Albums

  1. Nice Post!

  2. Pingback: 10 New Songs to Listen To From The Past Week – Chicago Haze

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