Sad girl autumn ballads: these songs fit “All Too Well” for the season

By Riley Dauber
Elm Staff Writer

As we enter November, students may be looking for the perfect playlist that captures the late fall atmosphere and mood.

Thankfully, I have curated a list of eight songs perfect for the season; they are a mix of heartbreaking ballads, sweet symphonies, and even some new songs to look forward to as “sad girl autumn” approaches.

“All Too Well” (Taylor Swift)

“All Too Well” is from Swift’s 2012 pop/country album “Red,” which will soon be re-released as “Red (Taylor’s Version).”

Due to a legal battle with her old record company, Swift is now re-recording her older albums so she can officially own them.

“Red (Taylor’s Version)” comes out November 12.

“All Too Well” is a breakup ballad about Swift’s relationship with actor Jake Gyllenhaal; with mentions of “autumn leaves” and “scarves,” the song sets up a cozy atmosphere.

Something is missing, however, and Swift tries to find closure as she reflects on all the tender moments from the relationship.

She sings, “we’re singing in the car getting lost upstate/autumn leaves falling down like pieces into place/and I can picture it after all these days.”

Swift is a master songwriter when it comes to breakups, and each detail makes listeners believe they witnessed the relationship as well.

“Better Man” (Little Big Town)

“Better Man,” performed by Little Big Town but written by Taylor Swift, chronicles the end of a toxic relationship between the narrator and her ex-boyfriend.

She knows she cannot return to him, but wishes the relationship would have worked out –  if only he had treated her right.

The song is a bit more upbeat, thanks to its country and folk elements, but the lyrics cut deep.

It is the perfect song to listen to as the leaves change colors and we transition to winter.

Since the song was written by Taylor Swift, she plans on releasing her own version of the song on “Red (Taylor’s Version).”

If Little Big Town isn’t your vibe, you have Swift’s version to look forward to.

“Moon Song” (Phoebe Bridgers)

Phoebe Bridgers’ music is not for everyone due to her strange way of telling a story in a song.

However, “Moon Song” is worth a listen. The song tells the story of a girl willing to do anything for the person she loves.

Each verse gives more and more details about the relationship, as the couple in the song argues about music and the narrator wishes to be seen and appreciated.

 It all leads up to the killer outro: “you are sick and you’re married/and you might be dying.” Bridgers’ vocals are haunting on the track, whispering throughout the verses but shouting the outro.

It is a depressing song that will define “sad girl autumn.”

“Easy On Me”(Adele)

The newest single from powerhouse Adele, “Easy On Me” is a reflection of the singer’s childhood, marriage, and divorce.

The single is the first look at Adele’s new album, “30”, which will be released on November 19.

“While the singer’s divorce helped to inspire the album, it is not the only subject,” New York Times writer Joe Coscarelli said.

“‘It was more me divorcing myself,’ Adele said in the article.

If “Easy On Me” is any indication of what is to come with the album, fans are sure to be impressed with 30.

Rosyln (Bon Iver, St. Vincent)

Written for the movie Twilight: New Moon, the collaboration between Bon Iver and St. Vincent is the perfect song for autumn.

The back and forth between the two singers is engaging, and their voices complement each other nicely.

With the light guitars and production, paired with the quiet but theatrical vocals, the song creates a cold atmosphere that fits with fall.

“From The Dining Table” (Harry Styles)

Harry Styles’ “From The Dining Table” is another ballad about a relationship that has ended due to distance or separation.

With only a guitar and Styles’ quiet vocals, the song is a stripped-down look at why the relationship may have ended and how Styles is dealing with the aftermath.

“Even my phone misses your call, by the way,” Styles sings.

Listeners attending college can relate to being separated from a loved one, or even the end of a meaningful relationship.

“Kiss Me” (Sixpence None The Richer)

“Kiss Me” is the 1997 song from one-hit-wonder band Sixpence None The Richer.

The song captures the nostalgic feeling that often comes with autumn; many wish to be back at home, celebrating the summer days and time off from school.

But they have to transition back to education, which can be relatable for college students.

Fortunately, “Kiss Me” allows listeners to daydream about a newfound relationship that they either once had or could have in the future.

Lead singer Leigh Nash has a dreamy sound to her voice, and the folk elements and upbeat rhythm make it the perfect fall song.

“Vienna” (Billy Joel)

In Billy Joel’s song “Vienna”, he assures the younger generation that they have plenty of time to accomplish their goals, and that they do not have to rush through life.

Joel’s vocals and songs have a warm, comforting feeling to them, which is perfect for November. Listeners can curl up by the fire, watch the leaves change colors, and listen to any of Joel’s songs.

“Vienna”, however, calls out college students who may feel the need to overwork themselves out of fear of failure.

“You better cool it off before you burn it out,” Joel sings, warning us all to take a break and focus on ourselves instead of our work.

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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