Tunesday: Queer female songs for fall 

Illustration for Tunesday playlist, with a phone, vinyl record, and earbuds
Alexander Hong/Senior Staff

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As fall comes to a close and holiday music starts to take over every station, let’s take some time to sit back and appreciate the transitional nature of the fall season and the queer female music that matches it. These songs, complete with a stripped-back, minimally produced sound and haunting vocals, are perfect for staring at brown leaves and holding onto the fall season for as long as possible. Just as fall is about yearning for a break from the stress of midterm season, wishing for a time when it was just a little warmer and a little more hopeful, these songs will cement you into the fall vibe for just a little bit longer. 

“Halloween,” Phoebe Bridgers

This playlist wouldn’t be complete without a Phoebe Bridgers song, if not more than one. The song is complete with an analogy about the eponymous holiday: Bridgers wishes that she and her partner could just “be anything” just for one night, pretending to be someone else as people do naturally on Halloween. The wistful vocals and emotional nature of the song makes it an unmistakeable queer fall anthem, as are many of the songs on Punisher.

“Josephine,” Brandi Carlile

Fall is unmistakably the season during which country music makes the most sense, and fortunately for queer people, Brandi Carlile provides a respite from the overwhelming straightness of the genre. Referencing her lover, Josephine, Carlile tries to look back on their relationship, wishing they could go back to an earlier time though the memories remain hazy. The quintessential acoustic guitar and longing nature of her music is no different in this song.

“Zombie Girl,” Adrianne Lenker

A more recent release, debuting Oct. 23, “Zombie Girl” reflects on Lenker’s experience with feeling distant from a romantic partner, trying to get to know them and wishing they would be more open. 

“Night Shift,” Lucy Dacus

This song is undoubtedly full of emotion and unresolved pain, making it perfect for the tentativeness and change that comes with fall. “Night Shift” slowly increases in intensity and sadness as the song goes on: Dacus reflects on the experience of a past lover, hoping to forget the pain of their relationship while avoiding them as much as possible. We’re all in the business of avoiding others during quarantine, but maybe this song will ease the pain a little bit. 

“Yellow is the Color of Her Eyes,” Soccer Mommy 

Starting off with a haunting intro, this song chronicles the terminal illness of the singer’s mother, resulting in her piercing yellow eyes, and explores the emptiness she feels when thinking about death. Whether actual or metaphorical, death is a key part of the fall season, allowing for something new to take place in the spring. “Yellow is the Color of Her Eyes” is a song about yearning for another time, a sentiment highly reflective of the season.

“We Fell in Love in October,” girl in red 

This song is unmistakably one of the most popular love songs for women who love women: A fall playlist featuring queer women would be incomplete without it. One of the happier songs of the bunch, girl in red joyfully celebrates a love she found during the fall season. And for all the queer people out there, maybe you’ll fall in love next October, too.

Caitlin Keller covers LGBTQ+ media. Contact her at [email protected]. Tweet her at @caitlinkeller20.