Cooking in the Fall: A Playlist

With the first official day of fall officially here and Pumpkin Spice Lattes already making a reappearance, summer has already faded away for a lot of people. You can easily bring the spirit of cool weather to your home, even when it’s still 90 degrees outside, by adding these songs to your cooking playlist and blasting them. 

illicit affairs – Taylor Swift 

The first sign of fall in 2020 wasn’t Starbucks rereleasing Pumpkin Spice Lattes, it was Taylor Swift dropping her newest album “folklore”. Praised for the stories that Swift tells, the entirety of this album belongs on everyone’s fall playlist. If you’re looking for just one song to add, “illicit affairs” is the one to pick. The combination of the soft instrumental, Swift’s lyrics and the emotional and musical crescendos of the song make it one to repeat over and over while cooking. 

Amsterdam – Gregory Alan Isakov

A staple in any fall soundtrack, “Amsterdam” by Gregory Alan Isakov is the perfect song to listen to while defrosting by soaking in the warmth of a soup. The soft guitar paired with Isakov’s tranquil voice and lyrics that include “that howling wind, she’s waving hi” almost serve as an ode to the season of fall. 

Dancing in the Moonlight – King Harvest

King Harvest’s 1973 hit song, “Dancing in the Moonlight”, paints a picture of a joyous celebration under a shining moon. When it’s played, it’s impossible not to feel that same joy transferred to you. With this song, “everybody’s feeling warm and bright”, just like the lyrics say, making it the perfect addition to warm up your spirits while you cook.  

Rivers and Roads – Head and the Heart

Regardless of whether or not the song brings back memories of loved ones you don’t get to see very often, favorite memories, sentimental goodbyes or the season four finale of “New Girl”, “Rivers and Roads” by The Head and the Heart is a song that demands you feel nostalgic. As we say goodbye to summer and welcome in the changing season, “Rivers and Roads” bridges the gap and helps you say goodbye and thank you. The song is lonesome, sweet, and nostalgic and a must play during the autumn months. 

Smoke Signals – Phoebe Bridgers

The entirety of Phoebe Bridgers’ debut album, “Stranger in the Alps” could be classified as perfect fall music. No matter what time of year you listen to the album, Bridgers’ dreamy vocals and smooth instantly transport you to fall. “Smoke Signals” carries the weight of pain, remembrance and youth with such beauty that it’s easily translated to something that can be played in the kitchen or in the most intimate moments of cooking. 

Honeybody – Kishi Bashi

Not all fall songs have to have a twinge of melancholy and “Honeybody” by Kishi Bashi proves it. The song’s lively tempo is excited and intrinsically autumn, conjuring up feelings of taking deep breaths of crisp air and joyfully cuddled up inside while it rains. “Honeybody” is the ideal song to play in the background while you dance around your kitchen and relish in all things fall. 

Hey Lover! – Wabie

Wabie’s cover of Daughters of Eve’s “Hey Lover” takes the beach-y song from the 60s and gives it a modern twist that simultaneously keeps the sun-tanned vibes from the original and adds a warmth that makes you feel like layering a sweater and going to the nearest cafe to get a latte. The song is almost impossible to not sing (and sometimes shout) along with and offers fuzzy feelings that you can’t easily shake off. 

The Weekend – SZA

SZA’s “The Weekend” might take you back to the summer of 2017 when it was released, but the song serves as an amazing way to bring the fall to you. The song manages to capture the transitioning seasons through the slow synth melody and SZA’s beautiful clear vocals. The song is one that you can’t help but sing along to, making it the perfect song to sing in the kitchen while you’re cooking a warm meal to offset the cold outside. 

Shrike – Hozier

Hozier, known for his forest aesthetic and his songs that have moved countless people, writes songs that comfort, warm and heal. “Shrike” is a love song that uses the metaphor of birds, specifically shrikes, to express the love that Hozier feels for the subject of the song. The guitar and drums that play throughout give the song a comforting feel that’s equivalent to the peace of being wrapped in a thick blanket with a hot chocolate. 

 Sick Feeling – boy pablo 

“Sick Feeling” by boy pablo is a song that carries the feelings of fall in a different way than a lot of the songs on this playlist. Despite its sad lyrics, the song is upbeat and inspires feelings of watching the sunset outside in weather that’s just starting to turn cold. Playing this brings the feelings of warmth and coldness juxtaposed with each other to you wherever you are. 

Forrest Gump – Frank Ocean 

Sweet, youthful and full of yearning, “Forrest Gump” by Frank Ocean is a song that rightfully deserves a place on most playlists. Based on the movie “Forrest Gump”, the football game setting that is used to exemplify the song’s themes elicits memories of bundling up in the middle of October to cheer at football games and grabbing dinner at the local diner. As a result, Ocean’s song is perfect to play to bring some of the most recognizable fall memories to your own kitchen. 

Chris Kim

A passionate Texan with a flair for capturing the essence of the Lone Star State through his words. Born and raised in the heart of Texas, Chris brings a unique perspective. With a background in journalism and a love for storytelling, he weaves together narratives that transport readers to the vibrant landscapes and rich culture of Texas. Whether he's exploring hidden gems in local communities or savoring the diverse flavors of Texan cuisine, Chris invites you on a journey to discover the untold stories that make Texas so tantalizing.