Halftime Leisure

The Weekly List: Nine songs to drift off to sleep in a cold fall evening

Published October 1, 2020


Illustration by Jacob Bilich

I love fall, but I hate the cold. As much as I look forward to Halloween, I can never get used to the freezing wind mercilessly piercing my face. The trees in my backyard are already changing colors, filling me with dread. The temperature immediately drops when the sun sets, and all I want to do is curl up in bed and hibernate until next spring. 

If you’re lying in a blanket-cocoon like me, here are nine songs to listen to before you fall asleep and dream of warmer days. 

“Drew Barrymore” by SZA

SZA asks her muse if she is “warm enough” for them. Meanwhile, I poke my head out of my covers, glare at the window, and hiss at the weather, “No.” Even still, this track’s soft beats and clever quips make everything a little bit more bearable. Whether your conflict comes from feelings or freezing toes, this song is a bop worthy enough to kick off this playlist.

“Rager teenager!” by Troye Sivan

Troye Sivan is a genius for making me feel weirdly nostalgic for a summer I didn’t have. This song makes me miss going to parties, falling in love with strangers, and spending the nights in wild adventures with my friends. In reality, I spent the summer safely social distancing back in Ohio with my family, where the most exciting thing I did was ride my bike around the neighborhood. This track is great for daydreaming about a life you could have had, especially if you didn’t have to worry about wearing two jackets just to go outside.

“Hard Feelings/Loveless” by Lorde

When it comes to nostalgia, “Hard Feelings” never fails to hit me in the chest with all of its poetic angst. I have a hard time picking out a single lyric because all of them are just that good. I’ll give you this though: “It’s time to let go of this endless summer afternoon.” Put your shorts away, bring out the sweaters, and accept that it’s only going to get colder from here on out. 

“In a Week” by Hozier ft. Karen Cowley

Transitioning into more “cottagecore” vibes, this song makes me look out the window again and realize that the branches are starting to get bare. The leaves are drying out. The flowers are dying. This track is tragically beautiful in the way that only the best poems can be. Let its chorus lull you into a deep slumber or a quick nap. 

“seven” by Taylor Swift

Whenever it gets cold, I start thinking about driving to the airport and running away to some warmer paradise. However, let’s face it: we’re still in a pandemic, and traveling is not what we should be indulging in. Still, this folklore track filled with pirates and impromptu adventures is the next best thing for childlike fantasies. 

“Sick of Losing Soulmates” by dodie

It’s easy to feel lonely right now. Back on campus, the broken heaters and chilling wind weren’t as miserable with my friends around to joke about them. With the virtual semester pushing us all to different corners of the map, it’s hard not to miss them. This track encapsulates that bittersweet ache of loving someone from afar this season, but its slow, gentle instrumentals will make sure you don’t stay awake for too long reminiscing about it. 

“Moon Song” by Phoebe Bridgers

I almost included all the songs from Phoebe Bridgers’ Punisher in this playlist. However, if I had to settle for one, it would be “Moon Song.” It’s the kind of soothing track that you listen to at 2 AM. The lyrics are incredibly cryptic: you can feel what they mean in your bones, but trying to explain them is seemingly impossible. I have no idea what “you’re holding me like water in your hands” even means, but it has haunted me for days. Listen to it in your final waking moments, and then wake up and spend days trying to make sense of it all. 

“Lonely” by Chloe x Halle

Consider this me sending you a happy pick-me-up. It’s an apology after the last three or so melancholic tracks. Ungodly Hour was one of the best things to ever happen this year, and it would be a crime if I overlooked Chloe and Halle Bailey. This uplifting track will comfort you just enough without distracting you from your ultimate goal. 

“Two Slow Dancers” by Mitski

Speaking of which, after all of this time huddling under blankets and overthinking life, you may realize you are no longer as cold as you were before. It’s time to settle down and drift off. Just close your eyes and let Mitski’s soft vocals take you far away.


Juliana Vaccaro
Juliana is a senior in the College, an English/Economics double major, a Chinese minor, and a Contributing Editor. She somehow still finds time to take way too many Buzzfeed quizzes.


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