Songs that Click: Fall, Lack of Motivation, and Nostalgia

Howls Moving Castle.

Howl’s Moving Castle.

Ruby Werckman

Welcome to Songs that Click! This is a column where I’ll be sharing certain songs that have really stuck with me recently and discussing why I think that is. These past few weeks have been a bit tough with schoolwork piling up but also lots of excitement over a new season (yay fall!) and I think these songs represent all of that pretty well. Hopefully some of these songs will click with you too or at least give you some new albums or artists to listen to!


folklore – Taylor Swift

Okay I know this column is literally called SONGS that Click and Folklore is an album but shh. I’ve been listening to this album a ton this week mostly because it really matches the vibe of the weather lately. I know this album came out in summer but it’s most definitely a fall/winter album and ever since I knew I was going to go to the East Coast for college I’ve been looking forward to listening to it during fall. It matches so well with all the gray days we’ve been having in a way that makes me feel more excited by the weather than sad and gloomy so it’s perfect. The whole album is obviously great but the songs that are really clicking with me right now are “august”, “seven”, “cardigan”, and “mirrorball”.


G R O W – WILLOW & Avril Lavigne feat. Travis Barker

I’ve been struggling with motivation to do my schoolwork or pretty much anything that involves leaving my bed lately and when I get particularly stuck the number one thing that helps is music with lots of guitar. I even have a whole playlist of songs with guitars specifically for moments like these (here’s the link if you’re curious!) I picked this song because, more than just the sound, I also really like the lyrics for when I’m low on motivation. I think the way the themes of self love and development are presented in a much more fun and less cheesy way than they often are in music is really impactful. I personally enjoy hearing the line “being confused ain’t right or wrong” as I struggle to pick classes for next semester and try to work on deciding what my major should be. This song is just a really good energizer all over plus I love the mix of both of these iconic artists together on one song.


Merry-Go-Round(人生のメリーゴーランド) – Joe Hisaishi

Following the theme of low motivation, this song is on my current favorite playlist for study music. The magical Studio Ghibli vibes definitely help me pretend to be some aesthetic, put-together character in a gorgeously animated movie doing my work but in a cool magical way which apparently makes me much more motivated to actually do it. I picked this song specifically because Howl’s Moving Castle is one of my all time favorite films and the scene where this song plays is one of my favorites. Even if I can’t fly above an adorable old fashioned town led by a gorgeous magician, it’s still pretty fun to listen to this song just walking around campus, especially if I’m running down a flight of stairs or something a bit more dramatic. Plus, this movie is such a comfort movie for me. It has felt nice to be reminded of it during this kind of stressful week.


Sweet Dream – Alessia Cara

Alessia Cara has been an artist I’ve liked since 7th grade and I was looking forward to her latest album, In The Meantime, and she did not disappoint! Honorable mentions to “Fishbowl” and “Apartment Song” because those are also really good songs but for the purpose of this column I’ll focus on “Sweet Dream”. I don’t know if it’s just me but my dreams have been pretty weird lately. I had 4 nights in a row with really bad nightmares so the chorus of “is it too much to ask, too much to ask for a sweet dream” has really been resonating with me. Luckily the nightmares have stopped for now (I’d like to think this song helped) but my dreams have still been consistently strange and waking me up throughout the night which has been super fun. I’ve decided to blame it on astrology and continue enjoying this lovely song to keep me awake during the day.


California – The Rose

Also sort of specific to me but I’ve been pretty homesick lately and I’m from California so this song is an obvious pick. I listened to this song on my last day at home while driving through the hills with my childhood best friend so it’s really special to me and reminds me of each aspect of home that I miss most. It’s been hard seeing all the families visiting for family weekend and hearing other students talking about going home just for the weekend since California is too far for a short visit. Is this song a completely accurate representation of my life in California? Absolutely not. But does it still remind me of the best parts of my home? Definitely, and those are the parts of my home I wish I could share with all the people I meet here.