The changing leaves, cloudy skies and rainy days of fall require a specific variety of music. As we find ourselves cozying up inside we may also find our fall playlists need some work. To help you find the music that fits best, The Beacon has compiled a list of artists that are worth listening to this fall. 

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Reptaliens

Over the summer I challenged myself to get more involved in the Portland scene. Tri-met, acting as my trusty steed, took me on many solo adventures especially when it came to concerts. While waiting for Cults to come on stage at the Doug Fir Lounge, local Portland artists, Reptaliens, conquered their role as the opening act. Their music truly embodies what it’s like to explore the more psychedelic realms of the pop culture scene. If you want to feel like you’re walking around in a vast dream scape and fly through time and space, listen to songs like “Simulation.” Wanting a clean transition from the song, extending your exploration? Play “Baby Come Home.” If you’re wanting to immerse yourself into their multiverse, listen to “In Your Backyard.” After listening to Reptaliens, you’ll be feeling like you’re ready to take on your own solo adventure.

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Graveyard Club

Okay fine, I’ll stop gatekeeping Graveyard Club. If you’ve ever been in my car, then you have probably heard them playing off the CD that is perpetually in my Subaru’s CD compartment. A wonderful mix of ‘80s inspired synth with spooky themes and hauntingly beautiful lyrics, Graveyard Club is my favorite band for this time of year. Their third album “Goodnight Paradise” is definitely my favorite from the group (yes this is the album I constantly have on repeat in my CD compartment). Of that album I think “William,” “Dreamland” and “Maureen” are my top three favorites. They perfectly capture the spooky spirit of fall and Halloween time in songs like “Witchcraft,” “October,” “Werewolf Teeth” and of course, “Halloween” without being corny or over the top like more Halloween music is. Graveyard Club has quickly become one of my favorite bands since I started listening to them in 2019 and I’ve loved exploring even more of their music in the past few weeks. Halloween time or not, Graveyard Club is perfect for anyone who’s a little spooky, likes ‘80s inspired indie music or just wants something to talk to me about (because trust me, I can talk forever about this band).  

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Fleetwood Mac

It goes without saying that Fleetwood Mac is a great band to listen to in the fall. It encompasses everything cozy, rainy and dare I say witchy. Fleetwood Mac is an artist that I never (okay, barely) skip when it comes on. The very first notes of “Dreams” come on and I can physically feel my brain release some serotonin. Then, Stevie Nicks comes in and I immediately get the urge to dance like the Kermit filter. Simply put, Fleetwood Mac just brings me such great joy. “Dreams” and “Rhiannon” are clearly great songs, but I also offer up “Silver Springs.” Not only does this go down in my books as a great song to listen to in the shower, but also a great song to listen to anywhere. I always listen to this song at least twice in a row when it graces me with its presence. Fleetwood Mac is just as great today as they were when they formed in the ‘60s. 

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Sam Fender 

When I lived in Newcastle, England there were billboards all over town talking about Sam Fender. While I never got into his stuff while I was living there I recently went back to his work and gained an immense appreciation for his style. His gritty working-class music reflects the town he’s from. His music is perfect for rainy fall days with songs that make you feel like you’re walking the streets in England. Songs like “Poundshop Kardashians,”  “Spit of You,” “Getting Started” and “Long Way Off” are a go-to for me whether I’m walking to class, doing homework or just plain vibing. He recently rose to fame with songs like “Seventeen Going Under” and “Hypersonic Missiles” going viral on TikTok. His voice and music style are almost haunting at times and at others are straight-up rock-and-roll. 

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John Denver

Singer-Songwriter John Denver is a quintessential musician in American folk music. Rising to fame in the 1970s, Denver’s music is equally beautiful and nostalgic — a fitting blend for chilly fall weather. Though releasing popular country albums too, John Denver’s folk songs stand out to me. “Follow Me,” “Leaving on a Jet Plane” and “For Baby (For Bobbie)” are some of his most meaningful songs. Also, “Perhaps Love” was my parent’s first dance song, giving this tune a special place in my mind. Melancholy, soft and poetic, Denver’s folk discography can offer some much needed calm to your autumn playlists.

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Polo G

As the semester workload continues to climb, I’ve found myself listening to more and more music by Polo G and appreciating some of his work more than I have in the past. The pace and beat of his music really appeals to me with some of his songs being quicker and some being slower. There’s many that are also just in between. keeping a catchy beat while not being too loud or dominant hit the sweet spot. Songs I would recommend are “Don’t Play” or “Choosen 1,” two songs that are drastically different in beat and rhythm and are equally enjoyable.

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Still Woozy

With the pace of school picking up and life becoming a little more hectic as we’re in the middle of our semester, I’ve been leaning towards the more mellow songs in my playlist. Like his name suggests, Woozy’s songs leave you in a trance-induced state, a relaxed mind and just time to take a breather from the happenings of life. I have no better way to describe his music other than just the feeling of elevation in pure and reviving water. While picking a favorite is unheard of for me, I would recommend “Goodie Bag,” “Lava” and “Habit” as starter songs to get you into the flow of his music. 

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Peach PRC

Looking for your next bubblegum pop sensation? Look no further than Australia’s own Peach PRC. I was initially drawn in by her viral videos and social media personality, but quickly fell in love with her acoustic songwriting videos and beautiful lyricism. Pure bubblegum pop, Peach PRC is a far cry from the indie-alternative music scene. Her style combines upbeat tracks and sugar-laced falsetto with heartfelt lyrics about her mental health issues and personal fears. Burying difficult topics in bright pink sounds, her songwriting is a nuanced and unique take on healing and growth. Additionally, her eccentric style is another one of her defining features as an artist. Wearing only pink from top to bottom, her aesthetic is reminiscent of Lisa Frank nostalgia and my pink glitter themed bedroom from second grade. A couple song recommendations are “Josh” and “Heavy.”

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Ridgeway

I am not going to lie, I have been gatekeeping this band for a long time. I’m not proud of a lot of things in my hometown of Orange County, California, but Ridgeway is the only exception. Last year, on a fateful rainy night in Portland, I ended up in a crowded concert at Hawthorne Theater with a variety of post-punk revival, post-hardcore and shoegaze bands. At the time, I was not into any of the kinds of sounds or music I heard that night, but Ridgeway stuck out to me. I found myself coming back to them and listening to what they had to offer. Charismatic and unique in their delivery of classic ‘90s shoegaze sounds mixed with new wave inspiration, Ridgeway offers character in your music rotation. If you are looking for a way to into the shoegaze, indie-rock or post-hardcore, I can’t recommend them enough. Song recommendations: “Paisley,” “A Night in Your Head,” “ Long Shot,” “ Fall Through” and “Woozy.” 

 

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Pinegrove

Recently I’ve been listening to a band called Pinegrove, an Americana and alternative rock band from Montclair, New Jersey. They’re an old favorite of mine that my older sister introduced me to when I was a freshman in high school. I immediately fell in love with their music, especially for their unique instrumentation, their emotional yet technical musical style, and the poetic-ness of their lyrics. Today, on the one hand, their music is nostalgic and reminds me of my sister and the music she likes. On the other hand, the band’s inspiration from literary works and figures speaks to me as a student of English, and also just as someone who loves reading and finding references to literature in music. A few songs I’d recommend to new listeners are “The Metronome,” “Old Friends,” “Rings” or any song from their “Audiotree Live” album. 

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Alicia Keys

Enough with the fall indie vibes, go listen to Alicia Keys and be happy. Her voice is as soft as an angel’s one moment and then will knock you over the next without warning. Maybe I’m just too obsessed with only listening to empowering women recently, but I cannot stop listening to her and you should listen to her too. If you want to feel like a boss, listen to “Girl On Fire.” If you want a nice slow melody, one of her top hits, “No One,” will never disappoint. If you are feeling fun, need some confidence or just hitting the gym, listen to “Heartburn.” If you want to feel something, “Brand New Me” will solve that just fine. 

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Arca

Innovative artists from marginalized communities are hardly ever hyped up in the mainstream, and Arca is one of the most creative and boundary-pushing artists out there. Originally from Venezuela, Arca is a non-binary trans musician who makes experimental music. While her music is purposefully unconventional, there are many similarities to reggaeton and Latin pop genres in her songs that make her accessible. At the risk of sounding pretentious, her music is not easy to get into. However, her work is very reminiscent of the late SOPHIE’s in the way she balances accessibility while also producing downright bangers. “KLK” with Rosalía (another one of my favorite artists) is a perfect example of this. “Rakata” and “El Alma Que Te Trajo” are probably her easiest songs to get into, especially if you love reggaeton as much as I do. If you’re ready for weirder and more experimental music, her entire discography is amazing, especially the Kick quintet. I personally really like “Bruja” and “Incendio” from Kick iii. If you’re ever going out to a Latin club with friends this fall, her music will definitely hype you up and get you in the right mood.

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The Lumineers

Fall is meant for folk music in my opinion. There is nothing better than rain beating down on your windows, lit candles and folk music playing in the background. The Lumineers have been one of my favorite bands since middle school. Their music is nostalgic and always seems to be one of my go-tos when I am on aux. Their sound is raw and the raspy vocals of Wesly Schultz tie in incredibly with the instrumentals from the rest of the band. Their music is catchy but their lyricism and sound is what really hooks me. I saw them live over the summer and it was a breathtaking experience.They sounded even better in person and their stage presence was incredible. It’s hard to pick a favorite but “Cleopatra” and their debut album “The Lumineers” would have to be my favorite releases of theirs. Some songs I would recommend are “Flowers in Your Hair,” “Where The Skies Are Blue” and “Long Way From Home.”

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Marlin’s Dreaming

Is there anything better than vibey indie-rock music? I don’t think so. I’ve been listening to this band constantly since first discovering them earlier this year. The combination of chill lyrical verses and electric guitar solos creates the perfect indie-fall mood. Marlin’s Dreaming debut album, “Lizard Tears,” is a must-listen and hits the mark on every single song. A few of my favorite songs that the band has produced are “Cheeky Kids,” “Floatin” and “Sink or Swim.” Though, I am a fan of any music that the band releases. Is there anything more Portland-esqe than listening to a fantastic indie-rock band and drinking a warm cup of coffee while it rains out your window? I highly recommend giving Marlin’s Dreaming a listen, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. 

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Miniature Tigers 

The autumnal season, without fail, always seems to awaken a sense of nostalgia. For me, this is directly reflected in my Spotify search history. Recently, I have been listening to a band I was first introduced to in middle school by my childhood best friend. An indie rock-esque band, Miniature Tigers is defined by their notoriously upbeat and playful rhythm, which combines with lyrics that hem together feelings of heartbreak and flirt with humor. Their music is undeniably catchy and will leave you wanting to simultaneously draw yourself a hot bath and dive into your latest find from Powell’s and scream your sorrow into the heart of a volcano. Their debut album (and my favorite) is called “Tell It to the Volcano” so these feelings of magmatic angst check out. Be sure to queue “Like or Like Like,” “Tchaikovsky and Solitude” or “Egyptian Robe” the next time you are on aux. 

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dodie

For me, the perfect rainy day involves staring out a droplet-covered window and sipping a hot mug of tea while listening to the calming music of dodie. Her soft and quiet voice makes me feel like I am being wrapped up in a big, warm sweater. If you were to scroll through my “chill” playlist on Spotify, you would find that it is mostly dodie. Their songs are enchantingly beautiful, telling stories of pining, relationships, self-love and mental health. I recommend giving her first studio album, “Build a Problem,” a listen, as well as their multiple EPs: Intertwined, You, Human and the recently released Hot Mess. My favorite of dodie’s songs are “She,” “Got Weird,” “Sick of Losing Soulmates” and “Ready Now.” 

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Labrinth

The onset of fall and spooky season always leads me to infuse some eeriness into my playlists. One staple in the past few years has been Labrinth. Popularized by HBO’s Euphoria, Labrinth’s music is impactful and dark at times, just like the show he scored. Labrinth masterfully blends electronic sounds with elements of hip-hop, R&B and pop. From song snippets like “So Alone to full feature albums like “Imagination & the Misfit Kid,” Labrinth definitely has the perfect blend for you. If you decide that mysterious isn’t really the vibe of your party, he’s got you covered there too. Be sure to check out his dance-pop collaborations with the group L$D, named after its three members Labrinth, Sia and Diplo. Songs like “Audio and “Genius” will surely help you lose your voice. 

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FINNEAS

Not enough people know about Billie Eilish’s older brother, who is even more talented than she is. Not only does Finneas play a huge part in the writing, recording and producing of Billie’s music, he also makes his own. “Die Alone” has been my favorite song ever since it came out in 2019 (it’s not completely as sad as it sounds) and a plethora of his other songs constantly top my Spotify stats. Finneas’s songs are an ethereal combination of beautiful melodies, meaningful, witty lyrics and excellent production. I don’t think it would be possible for me to narrow down all of his best music to just a few recommendations, but “I Don’t Miss You at All,” “Hurt Locker” and “American Cliche” are some of my other favorites. If you pick just one new artist to try on this list it should be him.

 

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Brent Faiyaz & Giveon

Currently I  have been listening to two new albums on repeat. One being “WASTELAND,” by Brent Faiyaz and the other being “Give or Take” by Giveon. These albums both have a different vibe to them which is why I personally think they pair great for fall. “WASTELAND” is super groovy and easy to listen to while walking to or from class, whereas “Give or Take” is great for getting in touch with those gloomy fall emotions that creep up on us once daylight saving hits. My favorite couple songs would have to be “Let Me Go” and “Lie Again” by Giveon as well as “LOOSE CHANGE,” “ALL MINE” and “PRICE OF FAME” by Brent. 

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Kid Cudi

With the toughest six weeks of the semester right around the corner, I’ve been listening to Kid Cudi to grind through the last bits of 2022. Kid Cudi’s blend of hip-hop and garage indie is energetic enough to keep the blood pumping even on the darkest and rainiest of PNW weather. Some of my personal favorites include “Mr. Rager” and “Day ‘n’ Nite” for their quick bpm and punchy lyrics.

This list was compiled by The Beacon staff. You can reach us at beaconeditor@upbeacon.com