As classes begin and each passing day is slightly cooler than the last, we enter the annual limbo between summer and fall. The trees around the lake are still a vibrant green and students are still walking around campus in shorts, tank tops and summer dresses; yet, the frequent rain and the new line of fall products at Trader Joe’s allude to the cozier days on the horizon.
That being said, it is important to acknowledge the fruitful season we are leaving behind. This past summer was filled with unforgettable tours, the announcements of upcoming albums, and many memorable single releases.
Taylor Swift not only dominated everyone’s Instagram feeds with friendship bracelets, outfit reveals and nosebleed videos from “The Eras Tour,” she re-released her third studio album, “Speak Now,” on July 7 and announced that she would re-release her fifth studio album, “1989,” on Oct. 27. Beyoncé made just as big of an impact with “The Renaissance World Tour,” her highest grossing tour yet. More recently, Olivia Rodrigo released her highly anticipated second album, “GUTS,” on Sept. 8, with songs “vampire” and “bad idea right?” already taking up prime real estate on every radio station.
The past three months have offered us nothing short of a robust soundtrack. While we might be trading our newly bought band t-shirts for sweaters, many of the songs released this summer are perfect for welcoming the colder months. I have compiled a list of singles released in the past few months from smaller artists who are sure to compliment whatever sort of fall playlist you’re beginning to create.
“Mythologize Me” by Eliza McLamb [explicit]
This song is for anyone who exclusively holds feelings of animosity towards the @wellesleycrushes Instagram page. Or, alternatively, for anyone who wishes they could give their high school self a hug. Released on Aug. 9, “Mythologize Me” is an upbeat indie song filled with a hypnotizing bassline, penetrating lyrics, and an unmistakable undertone of female rage. Diverging from the more meditative style of her last EP, “Salt Circle,” Eliza McLamb’s single makes you want to slam the door to your room and dance until you remember that you have a problem set due at midnight. If you can’t get enough of her music, McLamb will be opening for Vacations and Last Dinosaurs on Oct. 14 at the Big Night Live in Boston.
“Stay For Something” by CMAT
In my opinion, the best album of 2022, if not the best album I’ve ever heard, was CMAT’s “If My Wife New I’d Be Dead.” Combining country twang and pop music, every song on the Dublin-based singer’s debut album is a masterpiece. Evidently, she’s created some very high standards for musical career. After announcing that she would release her second album, “Crazymad, For Me,” on Oct. 13, CMAT released multiple singles to increase anticipation. Her most recent single, “Stay For Something,” confirmed that her second album will be just as mesmerizing as her first. Full of raw emotion, her powerful voice encompasses you, adding a new level of intimacy to her discography.
“Hey Honey” by Sumbuck
For anyone who sees fall as an excuse to wear blundstones every day, listen only to Noah Kahan and the Lumineers, and never shut up about that one weekend trip you took to Vermont last fall, let me introduce you to Sumbuck. The personal project of Taylor Meier, the frontman of the American folk band Caamp, explores themes of love using a warm acoustic and folk style. “Hey Honey” was released on May 12 as a precursor to his second album “Lucky,” which was released on June 9. The song’s easy melody and sweet lyrics make you wish you were cooking organic pancakes on an antique stove while soft light pours through a window housing a mountain view (perhaps that’s why the album cover features pancakes).
“Purpose” by Ayoni
If you take one thing away from this article, it should be understood that one day Ayoni will be selling out entire stadiums. Her voice feels as if it has descended from an ethereal kingdom and is showcased perfectly on her newest single. Released on June 9, “Purpose” is a ballad full of power, emotion, beautiful lyrics and thematic maturity. It is the type of song that you have to surrender fully to, making it the ideal listen for the days when you want to do nothing more than sit wrapped up in a scarf in one of the adirondack chairs on Green Beach and stare at the waves rippling through Lake Waban. If you would like to listen to more of Ayoni’s music, I would highly recommend also listening to “September” off of her 2019 debut album “Iridescent.”
“If I’m Honest” by Trousdale
Are you not ready to let go of summer just yet? Are you mentally still at last spring’s MUNA concert? Trousdale’s most recent single, “If I’m Honest,” might be perfect for you. The song was released on Aug. 18 ahead of their debut album “Out Of My Mind,” which was released on Sept. 15. The band, consisting of Quinn D’Andrea, Georgia Greene and Lauren Jones, characterizes this song with satisfying harmonies and a bubbly beat, making it truly infectious. So, if the colder weather and pile-up of assignments feels like it is weighing you down, I would suggest taking a quick strut around the lake while listening to “If I’m Honest” (although watch out for roots). If you are (understandably) enraptured by their music, you can see Trousdale live at The Sinclair in Cambridge on Oct. 11.
“Lexicon” by Vagabon
If you have been on the search for a new song to add to your “getting ready for a night out” playlist, look no further. Vagabon’s song “Lexicon” is upbeat, smooth, and confident. The song was released on Sept. 12, merely three days before the release of her third album “Sorry I Haven’t Called.” It invokes images of sitting on the floor of your friend’s room, fairy lights overhead, trying your best to master your cat-eye eyeliner while simultaneously fighting the urge to sway along to the song. Whether you are going to Boston or to the Tower Court steps, Lexicon will put you into a glamorous mood. If you enjoy Vagabon’s hypnotizing style, you can see her perform at the Crystal Ballroom at Somerville Theatre in Somerville on Oct. 26.