How Taylor Swift, Adele, and Other Pop Musicians Ushered in the Era of Sad Girl Autumn

What is Sad Girl Autumn? The fall of 2021 marks the release of long-awaited records like Adele's "30" and Taylor Swift's "Red (Taylor's Version)."

Leila Kozma - Author

Nov. 18 2021, Published 9:42 a.m. ET

Taylor Swift and Adele
Source: Getty Images

The coinciding release dates of Taylor Swift's "Red (Taylor's Version)" and Adele's "30" have given way to Sad Girl Autumn, a trend characterized by melancholic tunes and a newfound interest in gloominess and the antithesis (and a play on) of Hot Girl Summer, coined by Megan Thee Stallion.

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Since Friday, Nov. 12, 2021, the release date of "Red (Taylor's Version)," pop music lovers have been flocking to Twitter to find spiritual companionship and share their thoughts on the sudden influx of low-spirited songs. Here's what you should know about Sad Girl Autumn.

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Taylor Swift, Adele, and other pop musicians have ushered in Sad Girl Autumn.

In addition to "Red (Taylor's Version)," Taylor treated Swifties to a short film featuring Sadie Sink and Dylan O'Brien (whose age gap isn't that dissimilar to that of Taylor and Jake Gyllenhaal), a new line of merch (featuring a keychain adorned with the words "F--k the Patriarchy"), and several versions of the hit song, "All Too Well."

Originally created during an improv session, "All Too Well" continues to hold sway over Swifties. The latest releases, including "All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor's Version) (From The Vault)" and "Taylor Swift — All Too Well (Sad Girl Autumn Version)," are bound to entice fans with their pared-down sounds.

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Taylor is inviting fans to take a trip down memory lane and revisit a uniquely crippling form of heartache. Meanwhile, Adele created an album about divorce, the hurt inflicted on Angelo, the 9-year-old son she shares with ex Simon Konecki, and finding her way back to happiness. Arriving on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021, "30" aims to encapsulate the complications Adele has had to face in the aftermath of what she refers to as her "Saturn return."

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"When I was 30, my entire life fell apart, and I had no warning of it," she told British Vogue.

Hailed as the "defining voice of heartbreak" by The Guardian, Adele is now encouraging fans to release those pent-up emotions and give full-on sadness another try. In other words, two of pop music's greatest powerhouses are giving us plenty of reasons to let it all out.

To make matters worse, Kacey Musgraves also dropped a decidedly non-chirpy album, "Star-Crossed." The cover art for the album features a heart-shaped pendant broken into two halves. Meanwhile, Mitski released "The Only Heartbreaker," the second single from her forthcoming studio album, "Laurel Hell."

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What's more, Lana Del Rey is back with a new studio album as well. The "Born to Die" singer released "Blue Banisters" on Oct. 22, 2021.

"Last Friday, Taylor destroyed me. This Friday, Adele will also rip me to shreds. Happy Sad Girl Autumn!" tweeted @mads_gilmore.

"Taylor Swift, Summer Walker, and Adele conspired to make Sad Girl Autumn happen," tweeted @HenryGeorgeSimp.

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Sad Girl Autumn seems to have taken hostages already. As a Twitter user named @ParksOnAir reasons, Sad Girl Autumn is to be blamed for Shawn Mendes's and Camila Cabello's breakup.

"I blame Taylor Swift and Adele for Shawn and Camila’s breakup. Sad Girl Autumn has gone too far," tweeted @ParksOnAir.

Taylor Swift's "All Too Well (Sad Girl Autumn Version)" dropped on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Adele's new studio album, "30," hits the shelves on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021. Happy (or Sad, I guess) Sad Girl Autumn!

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