If you hadn’t noticed, fall is in the air. Football is happening. Halloween costumes are happening. Pumpkin spice latte jokes are happening. Most importantly, though, the “song of summer” debates have ceased happening (Iggy Azalea won), which means only one thing: people are starting to describe music as “autumnal.”
It’s one of those terms music people use all the time, but it’s pretty hard to put your finger on what exactly it means. NPR says it isn’t actually a real thing. Pitchfork seems to think it is. Massive music database AllMusic does, too. But nobody is offering a firm definition of what music actually sounds like when it sounds like fall.