One of the ways that help people acknowledge their emotions is to listen to music. Music expresses our feelings through words and melody in a relaxing way. Fall is a time period of realization and change. It is also a time to reflect on moments or decisions made in the past year. These songs describe this process in different situations.
“Solo”– Frank Ocean
“Solo” is about being on your own and learning how to love yourself. It also acknowledges the lows of life and being able to cope with them alone. The title has two interpretations, being “solo,” and being “so low.” In this song, Ocean’s voice sounds helpless, like he is trying to find his purpose in this world.
“mirrorball” – Taylor Swift
Swift finds herself doing things to please others instead of being herself. She compares herself to a mirrorball, saying that she reflects the same personality as the people around her, but she is hard to fix when she is broken. The tone of Swift’s voice in “mirrorball” gives a sort of exciting feeling when she (the mirrorball) is shining brightly, waiting for acceptance and approval from the people around her.
“Bags” – Clairo
Not only is this song about young love, it is also about learning to be comfortable with the unknown and adjusting to the changes that come along the way. The nervousness that comes with this type of love is portrayed throughout this song. The uneasy feeling can be exciting sometimes when you don’t know what the outcome of your life will be.
“When You’re Ready” – Shawn Mendes
Mendes has made a promise to someone that he will always be there waiting for them to come back and realize that he was the one for them. He is willing to wait for them as long as it takes, even if it is ten years from now. This song represents acceptance of new changes that might not be what you expected or wanted in your life.
“Blessed” – Daniel Caesar
This song is about the regret of leaving someone. The lyrics beg for the person to come back to Caesar as he explains how badly he needs them. He wishes he could go back in time and fix his mistakes in the relationship. “Blessed” gives off a sort of helpless feeling of witnessing someone you need in your life walk away.
“Grieving” – Kehlani ft. James Blake
This song is essentially about what the title is, which is grieving. This song describes the emotion you feel when you are separated from someone who was close to you, but they were not what you needed. It is somewhat sorrowful, but also relieving.
“Yah Mean” – Playboi Carti
“Yah Mean” is the type of song to make you dance with the biggest smile. It brings out this fun adventure-like feel, with the beat having an out of this world essence that all you can really do is just listen along to understand it’s fun. With lyrics about having fun with your friends and just getting money, it is a perfect song to just relax, dance, and have fun to. The song brings out a feeling of calmness and euphoria within this very sheltered and reflective period of the year.
“Break from Toronto” – PARTYNEXTDOOR
PARTYNEXTDOOR brought in an out of world feel on “Break from Toronto.” Almost feeling like it’s straight from a movie, this song’s instrumentals gives you the urge of just riding around at night and just looking at the bright city lights. With everything from production, vocals, and the lyrics, it just feels like you’re experiencing a dream.
“Violent Crimes” – Kanye West
In “Violent Crimes,” West realizes the true purpose and beauty of the women in his life, resulting in him becoming concerned with his daughters potentially facing the turmoil that happens to women because of men. The instrumentals give this somber church-like feel, adding more onto this reflective track. The production builds onto West’s message of his hope for his daughters to live a life away from the dangers of men, and that he’ll be a good enough parent to keep them safe. When we’re trying to search for comfort in this cold weather, “Violent Crimes” is the shoulder we can cry on.
“Supermodel” – SZA
“Supermodel” is a song about the insecurities and self-destructive personality of Solana Rowe, or more known as SZA. This song is filled with sorrow and anger. The instrumentals help create this sort of reflective, yet painful melody, with the guitar just tearing away at your heart. SZA creates a song that helps us say goodbye to one chapter in our life, even when it pains us to do so.
“Dead To Me” – Kali Uchis
“Dead to Me” is a song about moving on from a partner. Uchis warns her former significant other that they need to leave her alone because they’re “dead” to her. This song creates a powerful anthem with a gut wrenching chorus that has Uchis screaming out “You’re obsessed, just let me go! You’re dead to me”. We relate to Uchis in her chant of not only telling someone to let go of her, but her letting go of them, too. If you’re feeling like letting go this season and focusing on yourself, then “Dead To Me” is the perfect song to keep you going.
“Clouded” – Brent Faiyaz
A relaxing song that shows Brent questioning the life he lives now and the legacy he’ll leave off. One of the first lines of the song is Faiyaz asking us, “Is anybody gon’ remember me?” “Clouded” has introspective and cocky lyrics, with a choir filled instrumental. The song blends both self-awareness, fear, and confidence, with a very uplifting beat playing in the background. “Clouded” is the song you choose when you’re trying to figure everything out, but wanna look pretty doing it.
Fall is a time to reflect on the decision we’ve made the past year. During this time, we often feel as if we’re doing something wrong, but these songs tell us that it’s okay, that we’re not the only ones trying to understand what’s going on in our lives. These songs are shoulders to cry on, blankets to give us warmth. They are a reminder to us that it’s okay to not know everything, that it’s okay to take a break or start over again. As we go on with our lives, we’ll find more songs to help us reflect and relax to, but for now we offer these songs to help you during this crazy time in our lives.