We all know that fall, not January 1, marks the real beginning of things. Clean slates, fresh possibilities. A shift from the agreeable lassitude of summer to a crisp sense of purpose. School! Friends! Football! A return as well to culture—theater, music, museums, all of it.

Oh, right. We see the problem now. O.K., maybe it’s not quite the same as usual this year. Still, as one of the artists in this playlist sang in another context, “The world keeps going ’round.” And at the very least we’re guaranteed some matchless autumn days. Here’s one soundtrack that could accompany the season.