18 Songs That Are Perfect For September

Fall music: when everything is breezy and wistful and strummy and perfect.

1. Cass McCombs, “County Line”

Domino Recording Co. / Via
ID: 1588692

Who? California-born singer-songwriter who makes sneakily dark folk-y baroque pop.
Most autumnal thing about it: That breezy, laid-back shuffle. Oh and the warm organ tone. Everything about this song, basically.

ID: 1588696

2. The Velvet Underground, “Stephanie Says”

Polydor / Via
ID: 1588674

Who? New York art-rock legends. Velvet freaking Underground.
Most autumnal thing about it: The fluttery chorus harmonies.

ID: 1588677

3. Curt Boettcher, “Another Time”

Sound City Music / Via
ID: 1588794

Who? A relatively unheralded record producer, songwriter, musician, and arranger who worked with everyone from The Beach Boys to Elton John and specialized in sparkling sunshine pop.
Most autumnal thing about it: The chiming, arpeggiated guitar. Delicate and irresistible.

ID: 1588824

4. Mulatu Astatke, “Yekermo Sew”

Strut Records / Via
ID: 1588717

Who? A pioneer of Ethio-jazz. You might remember hearing his work in the Jim Jarmusch/Bill Murray movie Broken Flowers.
Most autumnal thing about it: The interplay between the humming organ and the twisting brass melody.

ID: 1588072

6. Donovan, “Wear Your Love Like Heaven”

Epic Records / Via
ID: 1588104

Who? The sunshine-ier, Scottish Dylan.
The most autumnal thing about it: The playfully brushed drums and, duh, THE FLUTE.

ID: 1588029

7. Kevin Ayers, “May I?”

Harvest / Via
ID: 1588851

Who? English hero of pastoral psychedelia. Worked with Brian Eno, Syd Barrett, John Cale, and a bunch more.
The most autumnal thing about it: The shaker and toy accordion. The sprightly bassline and delicate vocal. All of it.

ID: 1588852

8. King Krule, “Neptune Estate”

True Panther Sounds/XL Recordings / Via
ID: 1589121

Who? The recording project of 19-year-old English ginger whiz kid Archy Marshall.
The most autumnal thing about it: The drowsy drum loop and Marshall’s low-slung vocal delivery. Heavy “nighttime in September” vibes.

ID: 1589124

9. Big Star, “Thirteen”

Akarma Records / Via
ID: 1589165

Who? Legendary Memphis power-pop band.
The most autumnal thing about it: The walking bass line subtly nudging the sparkling acoustic guitar line forward. You can damn near see the leaves falling as this song plays.

ID: 1589169

10. Gal Costa, “Divino Maravilhoso”

ID: 1589235

Who? Popular and influential Brazilian singer. Tropicália trailblazer.
The most autumnal thing about it: The fanciful guitar figure and Costa’s feathery vocals.

ID: 1589242

11. Mac Demarco, “My Kind of Woman”

Captured Tracks / Via
ID: 1589316

Who? Canadian indie misfit who specializes in off-kilter guitar-pop.
The most autumnal thing about it: The languid rhythm section and vocal drawl. Everything about this song is sleepy and wonderful. Not so much jumping into the leaf pile as collapsing into it.

ID: 1589319

12. Brigitte Fontaine, “Une Fois Mais Pas Deux”

ID: 1589381

Who? A French singer, novelist, writer, actress, playwright, and poet with a string of wonderful albums in the mid to late-’60s.
The most autumnal thing about it: The somehow simultaneously lush and playful strings. Also, breathy French vocals are basically a fall breeze anyway.

ID: 1589384

13. The Beach Boys, “Disney Girls”

Brother Records / Via
ID: 1589417

Who? The Beach Boys. The. Beach. Boys.
The most autumnal thing about it: Bruce Johnston’s lilting lead vocal. Honorable mention to the little wah-wah guitar flourishes.

ID: 1589418

14. Sidney Bechet, “All of Me”

Blue Note / Via
ID: 1589437

Who? Dixieland-era jazz saxophonist and clarinetist.
The most autumnal thing about it: The brushed drums and loosey-goosey sax performance.

ID: 1589440

15. Margo Guryan, “Someone I Know”

Bell Records / Via
ID: 1589535

Who? Relatively obscure ’60s baroque-pop singer.
The most autumnal thing about it: The cooing, reverb’d vocals and tumbling, loose drum fills.

ID: 1589536

16. John Cale, “Andalucia”

Reprise / Via
ID: 1589560

Who? Composer, singer-songwriter, and record producer. Founding member of the Velvet Underground. Plays basically every instrument imaginable. Welsh. Genius.
The most autumnal thing about it: The layered acoustic guitars and the shaker. Always the shaker.

ID: 1589561

17. Karen Dalton, “In a Station”

EMI Records / Via
ID: 1589578

Who? ’70s folkie associated with the Greenwich Village scene.
The most autumnal thing about it: Literally everything about it: the syncopated drums, the piano flutters, the bass counterpoints, Dalton’s cracking vocal. The wind is rustling and it is BRISK. It is fall.

ID: 1589714

18. Girls, “Heartbreaker”

True Panther Sounds / Via
ID: 1589611

Who? Disbanded sorta-psychedelic, sorta-doo-wop-y band from San Francisco.
The most autumnal thing about it: Strummy acoustic guitars everywhere; tambourine accents; the tender vocal.

ID: 1589613

Here’s a Spotify playlist of all the tracks:

ID: 1589751

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