Songs to get you ready for a brand-new season

Songs to get you ready for a brand-new season

Songs of the Summer can be easy to guess (well, maybe not this year). Songs of the Fall are more complex. The season comes with anguish and reflection and change and even some hope. Here are six pieces of magic that should prick up your ears and get you ready for the strange emotions of autumn.


In an alternate reality, “Dynamite” was 2020’s Song of the Summer. Instead we had fires, floods, riots and a global pandemic. So maybe the first single recorded entirely in English by the South Korean pop sensation will be our Song of the Fall. Here’s what’s in the plus column: All at once, it’s New Direction, Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake at their most shameless, silly and sublime; a song that takes us to the neon-and-disco beach party we didn’t get this August. The minus column: It might be too joyful for this year.

Shot at the title: 1 in 2.

“ICE CREAM,” Blackpink & Selena Gomez

Over the past year and a half, Blackpink became the first K-Pop group to play Coachella, scored a trio of Stateside hits, and made music with Dua Lipa and Lady Gaga. This collaboration with Gomez breaks no new ground. We’ve heard these beats, breaks, cheers and cadences from American artists for almost half a decade. But, wow, “Ice Cream” is so sweet and tasty.

Shot at the title: 1 in 5

“STARTING OVER,” Chris Stapleton

Stapleton has been the best thing about mainstream Nashville for years. But his insistence on caring more about Dolly Parton, Steve Earl and Otis Redding craft than Lady Antebellum polish has kept him just out of reach of modern country superstardom. This track, already climbing the charts, fits the zeitgeist. Its lyrics and tone are winsome, wise, tender with just the right amount of hope to hook a generation ready for something half-broken but real.

Shot at the title: 1 in 6

Chris Stapleton performs at the 53rd annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

“MEGAPUNK,” Ela Minus

Minus may usher in the new age of cyberpunk. With a bank of synths and beats, she delivers this dark dance song from her home studio in Brooklyn. The Colombian-born artist-producer seems to know that 2021 looks towards a mix of gothic, disco rock and classic techno. After you travel through the looking glass that is “Megapunk,” search out new Spanish-language single “El Cielo No Es de Nadie.”

Shot at the title: 1 in 20

“RUNNING,” Shamir

In just five years, Shamir has made bold transitions: eccentric modern new wave into freaked out guitar rock for one. The artist’s latest turn swerves hard back into synthpop. “Running” charges into an existential crisis and sharp hooks. It would be an ideal club song if it didn’t evoke such unease and introspection.

Shot at the title: 1 in 25

Shamir at the Coachella Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club on Sunday, April 14, 2019, in Indio, Calif. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)

“TAKE ME IN,” The War and Treaty

Like Stapleton, the War and Treaty have created a song perfect for our fear and longing. The musical duo of Tanya Blount-Trotter and Michael Trotter Jr. make music that feels like church and country porches and raucous, homey roadhouses. But “Take Me In” is the sound of salvation, powered by the pair’s blend of gospel and soul.

Shot at the title: 1 in 50

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