Autumn has Fallen: 5 Songs to Get Gauchos in Gear for the Season

Illustration by Diane Kim

Hailey Hill

Science & Tech Editor

There is no doubt that Santa Barbara is about as close to paradise as any place could be: ocean views, stoic mountains, and picturesque weather almost all year round. But as fall arrives in our unchanging paradise, it can be hard not to yearn for the oranges and yellows of falling leaves, to feel the crisp forming in the fall air — anything for this time of year to “feel” more like fall. 

While we can’t change the weather or paint the mountains with fall foliage, we can recommend some songs that will give you those nostalgic fall vibes of campfires, backwoods drives, and sweater weather. 

  1. Caamp — “Iffy”

Honestly, any of indie-folk band Caamp’s discography could be put on a fall playlist. The simple acoustics and raspy texture of the singer’s voice take the listener off-grid to quieter places among nature. “Iffy” in particular evokes nostalgic feelings of relationships past and roads well-traveled, and feels like the darker, more elemental aspects of seasonal change. This song pairs perfectly with a camper mug of black coffee and a foggy morning.

  1. Greta Van Fleet — “Flower Power” 

Taking after legends such as Led Zeppelin, Greta Van Fleet has brought love ballads back to rock music. “Flower Power” has a softer sound compared to the band’s usual fast-paced, energetic tracks, and has a ’70s-era feel to it that fosters a sense of nostalgia which is wholly different from Caamp’s “Iffy.” Lead vocalist Josh Kiszka’s unique voice makes this track feel as though it’s from the golden age of rock music, even if it was released in 2017. “Flower Power” is best played on a drive through the mountains, windows down and the stereo turned up.

  1. Bon Iver — “Beach Baby”

No fall (nor especially winter) playlist is complete without something from folk artist Bon Iver. “Beach Baby” is adequately moody to give the feeling of drizzly weather and colder days without feeling too dark and dreary. The instrumental is reminiscent of a toned-down indie riff — the perfect vibe for heading into another coastal fall. “Beach Baby” is for those mornings when the ocean is looking a bit more gray than blue, and you just might actually need a jacket when you bike to class.

  1. Taylor Swift — “august”

What playlist doesn’t need a track from Swiftie herself? “august” is less “hello fall” and more of a  “goodbye summer” track, giving a proper sendoff to all those summer flings that never quite played out. “august” is a light and airy track that embodies the whimsical feel of the shifting seasons. It’s perfect for a sunny day with that fall nip in the air. 

  1. The Growlers — “California”

We might not get a “real” fall in Santa Barbara, but there’s still so much to love about fall on the California coast. “California” embodies lazy, hazy days bathed in golden light; imagine being bundled up in your warmest jacket and blankets as you watch the sunset from up at Lizard’s Mouth. Simple instrumentals similar to other songs on this list give that essential, mellow fall vibe we all crave after a long, hot summer.