What’s This Playlist All About? A changing of the season comes with a changing of sounds. Say goodbye to the breezy pop of the summer and hello to the pensive songs of the fall. Courtney E. Smith of Refinery29 helps us navigate the latest in pop and indie to soundtrack longer, chillier nights as you indulge in the “best of the pumpkin-season foods.”
What You Get: A fierce feminine force of independent women calling out “false gods” (Taylor Swift) and “prophets” (King Princess) and allowing us to explore their “holy terrain” (FKA twigs). Elsewhere, Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard goes out on her own with the bluesy, funky “History Repeats,” and Chairlift’s Caroline Polachek does the same, lamenting on the dance floor with synth-pop sweetener “So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings.” Meanwhile, Miranda Lambert and Maren Morris assert their own hotness with the sass-rich “Way Too Pretty for Prison,” and The Highwomen (Morris, Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, and Amanda Shires) tell “stories still untold” in the multi-part beauty “Highwomen.”
Greatest Discovery: Angel Olsen’s “Lark,” a bone-chilling anthem thick with strings and the singer’s cathartic howls. It holds more emotion in six minutes than any of this year’s full-length Hollywood dramas.
Best Pick: You’ll have to head all the way down to the bottom of the playlist to hear Smith’s most left-field pick, from none other than Kim Gordon, of Sonic Youth fame—the oldest yet boldest of this group—offering up material from her first solo album, represented here with the industrial-tinged “Sketch Artist.”