Finally, the holy trinity of months is upon us! Although this is my first fall in St Andrews, I already know that this little town is going to be one of the best places to experience some of my favorite months of the year.
While I know many of us might be feeling like the end of the year can’t come soon enough, and for good reason, it doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy some of the small great things this season brings with it. October is arguably one of the best months of the whole year – pumpkin pancakes, screenings of The Shining and Scream, the allure of various St Andrews ghosts, and the joy of the radiators not working properly in your hall (or maybe that’s just a McIntosh thing).
Personally, I’m a believer that certain moments are deserving of their own little soundtracks, so here I detail a couple of my favorite October-inspired jams and make you a playlist for all you beach-walking or ghost-hunting needs, influenced by the addicting amalgamation of eighties hits and synth-pop that became popular with an October favorite, Stranger Things. So without further ado, sit back, grab a latte, and get listening!
1. The Ghost in You – The Psychedelic Furs
Starting us off with a classic is The Psychedelic Furs, a staple of the eighties and also the October season. Maybe it’s the fact that it mentions ghosts, but it feels nostalgic yet energetic, bringing a sense of expectation and promise for the upcoming months.
2. Evil Woman – Electric Light Orchestra
Evil Woman is, simply put, a fantastic song. It’s upbeat and terribly catchy—there’s a good chance that it will be stuck in your head when you’re trying to concentrate in a tutorial.
3. Baby’s Eyes – Neon Indian
One of my personal favorites, and easily my favorite song by Neon Indian, this song is just dripping with the synth and electric style that Neon Indian is known for. They’ll definitely become your newest musical obsession.
4. Heroes – David Bowie
I’m convinced you could put this song on any playlist, and it would work, but I’m particularly attached to its use in a fall playlist of sorts.
5. Small Car Big Wheels – Enjoy
Even if you gain nothing else from this article, or listen to any other song, I implore you to just give this one a listen. Yes, it’s a little odd, a little weird, but something, something, about it makes it impossible to only listen to once.
6. For What It’s Worth – Buffalo Springfield
This always makes me think of fall in the country or going to a pumpkin patch. Bonus points if you’re listening to it on a drive to a hiking trip.
7. There Is a Light That Never Goes Out – The Smiths
The Smiths are a great addition to any playlist, in my opinion, but something just feels right about listening to them when exam papers are looming, but you continually decide to go out with friends instead.
8. The Weekend (Radio Edit) – Michael Gray
This is honestly just a great song to walk to. It’s upbeat, insanely catchy, and has a great vibe. Unfortunately, I cannot guarantee that it will make Sally rethink the weekend lockdowns any time soon.
9. Love My Way – The Psychedelic Furs
We can justify this as the token romantic track on this playlist. Why would you not want to fall in love while listening to this song? Why would you not want to fall in love in October?
10. New Flesh – Current Joys
If this song hasn’t been completely ruined for you due to twenty-nineteen TikTok, then I applaud you. Regardless of its internet fame, it’s another great one that falls into the category of “songs that feel nostalgic but were made in the twenty-tens.”
11. Heaven’s Basement (Theme from 86’d) – Neon Indian
Again, Neon Indian has a way of introducing the nostalgic to the futuristic that’s simply addictive.
12. Whisper to a Scream – The Icicle Works
I had never heard of this before it played in a show and I was immediately hooked. One of the lesser-known bands from the eighties, they have a great sound, and this song became an immediate fall staple.
13. Girls on Film – Duran Duran
Simply a great soundtrack for when you’re attempting to run into the North Sea, forgetting you’re likely going to contract hypothermia by the end of the night.
14. Little Lies – Fleetwood Mac
Because Fleetwood Mac just plays into the ultimate fall atmosphere, when the air is crisp-but-not-quite-cold, and the sun is hitting North Street just right.
I could go on adding eighties hits and various obscure electronic jam sessions, but these are my favorites, and maybe you’ll be inspired to spice up your own October playlist that’s been collecting dust since last year. Maybe it’ll accompany you on a walk through the cathedral ruins, sunset-watching on Castle Sands, braving the wind to obtain your fifth Pret coffee of the day, or maybe you’re just watching the leaves turn from your dorm window – whatever the occasion, I hope you enjoy October!