Songs for Autumn
September 22 marks the autumnal equinox, which means it's officially the end of summer and the start of fall. While this may mean cooler temperatures are on the way (boo), it also heralds the arrival of sweater weather, pumpkin season and cozier tunes. Autumnal music tends to yearn for something out of reach, whether it's nostalgia for the past or regrets about the summer that just ended -- see: Death Cab for Cutie, Ryan Adams, Wilco -- and emphasizes things such as minor chords, muted percussion and plaintive vocals.
Yet there's still a wide range of sounds that make a song sound like fall. Acoustic guitars are naturally a big component (Rolling Stones, Jackson Browne, Elliott Smith), but aren't a requirement; just ask The Stranglers, Van Morrison or Ben Folds Five. And introspective songs from solo troubadours (Jose Gonzalez, Josh Rouse) qualify just as much as tunes from full bands (R.E.M., Del Amitri, Crowded House, Big Star). And then there are the songs that actually address the season, such as Yo La Tengo's "Autumn Sweater." Be sure to grab a warm blanket and a hot beverage before cueing up this playlist of some of fall's best songs.