Music Desk Staff Recs: Best Songs of Fall 2018

Album art for Charli XCX and Troye Sivan's joint single '1999', one of the staff picks this fall. (Courtesy of Wikimedia)

As autumn draws to a close and we trade in our light jackets for heavy winter coats, we can reflect on the singular tracks that made it to our fall playlists. From acoustic ballads to sugary pop beats to hip-hop anthems, these fall singles deserve some recognition. This is Staff Recs: Fall 2018 singles edition.

“i wanna be your girlfriend” by Girl in Red
Nicole Rosenthal, Music Editor

After releasing a string of singles in the first half of 2018, Swedish indie rocker Girl in Red (real name Marie Ulven) has finally released her first EP, “chapter 1,” consisting of five uniquely fun, upbeat and quirky lo-fi tracks. However, the first track “i wanna be your girlfriend,” is perhaps a standout on the EP. Ulven’s earnest vocals, paired with a sunny acoustic guitar and organic percussion are the perfect segway from summer to autumn. Simple and sweet, the track ruminates puppy love through subtle – and later, very overt – lyrics.  “I don’t wanna be your friend, I wanna kiss your lips,” Ulven pleads over a danceable guitar riff. Adorable, energetic and perhaps even a little bawdy, “i wanna be your girlfriend” is the unrequited love anthem you need in your life.

“Demain c’est toi” by Zaz
Jun Sung, Contributing Writer

Fall is the season of transition. Changing leaves, brisk wind and cold weather have descended upon us. Zaz’s new song, “Demain c’est toi,” compliments this perfectly. The lyrics speak to the possibility that comes with tomorrow, as well as the ability to break the chains of the past to look forward to something new. Zaz sings these ideas with soul, along with simple, layered instrumentation. The fluttering piano, melodic string section and minimal brush work on the drums all come together to create a piece that encapsulates fall in its most beautiful.

Zaz has and continues to base her art in French chanson, a distinctly French pop-esque genre, and this song is certainly an example of this. Underpinned with the theme of letting go, Zaz has created a song that teleports the listener to a very soulful, autumnal France.    

“Ever Again” by Robyn
Jude Zhu, Contributing Writer

As the contemporary spokesperson for ‘80s dance music, Robyn is a master of refreshing old-school classics with her cutting-edge techno wickedness. On “Honey,” her first album in eight years, the Swedish artist opens up a much more personal realm in her “Body Talk” trilogy. The finale to the album, “Ever Again,” is a seductive disco-influenced track that really warms up that late fall chill. Backed by a balmy bassline and inviting drum beats, Robyn entices her lover to cut loose and be himself as she is “never gonna be brokenhearted ever again.” Instead of filling up the song with flamboyant synth pieces, Robyn sings as if she were ear-whispering, leaving a comfort zone for the listeners to get in the groove, and offering an experience that recalls the mythic funkiness of Prince’s “When Doves Cry.” A relaxing allegro itself, “Ever Again” is a perfect fit for a slow dance with yourself.

“1999” by Charli XCX and Troye Sivan
Julia Fields, Staff Writer

Charli XCX’s newest single and collab with Troye Sivan reminds us to remember the ‘90s as the pair reminisce on a year of boy bands and Apple products. The song follows Charli XCX’s funky pop vibe mingled with Troye’s melodic and smooth voice. It’s catchy, upbeat and a great dance song for the fall as both performers show their relevance and success in the current pop music scene.

With an equally fun music video, the two dress up as celebrities from the ’90s from Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake to Jack and Rose aboard the Titanic. Being ages seven and four respectively in 1999, Charli and Troye remind us that all ages can feel the ’90s nostalgia from time to time.

“Smoking Song” by Mick Jenkins ft. BADBADNOTGOOD
Avani Jurakhan, Staff Writer

Everything starts over in the fall. This means a period of heavy cleansing, solace-seeking and the oh-so-wonderful meticulous introspection. Don’t worry — Mick Jenkins is here to help make the nostalgia and soul-searching feel a little less end-all, be-all. “Smoking Song” is a deep and flowing track back-boned by a signature BADBADNOTGOOD production. Jenkins lyrically bodies the song with the theme of alone time which touches on the not-so-sweet moments of the season. This track will help you with contemplating your perspective and placement in the world.

The rest of his fourth studio album, “Pieces of a Man,” that dropped Oct. 26th is worth integrating into your fall playlist.

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