Although I am in complete denial, it’s that time of year again… midterms week. That means long, caffeine-fueled library hours finishing papers and trying to catch up with all the readings you’ve avoided this semester. I personally love to work with music as my background, it helps me focus and concentrate. However, successful study music has to meet a few factors. I usually like to study with whole albums, rather than say a Pandora station, because I find having the same kind of music helps me focus more on what I’m doing. And although not every album on this list is instrumental, minimal vocals and lyrics are a must.
Pinpointing DARKSIDE’s exact “sound” is a tough task, so I won’t even try. This album combines elements of electronic, alternative and ambient music to create a slow, dark, gorgeous sound. With its first track spanning 11 minutes, “Psychic” is the album to listen to while on your third cup of coffee at 1 a.m.
“Loveless” – My Bloody Valentine
The sub-genre “shoegaze” is known for its use of repeating guitar effects, introspective music and vocals that blend in with the noise of the other instruments. “Loveless” is most commonly referred to as a “landmark” of the shoegaze genre. Repeating sounds, long songs and muffled vocals make it great music to get lost in and concentrate.
“The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place” is probably the only fully-instrumental album on this list. But even without vocals, the five songs on this album all sound happy and optimistic. Explosions in the Sky have become one of my “go-to” bands when I have piles of reading and writing to get through.
Purity Ring’s debut “Shrines” has more vocals than some of the other albums on this list, which may be a distraction for some, but I find the electronic, repeating melodies to be soothing when the anxiety starts to bubble up.
“Settle” was one of 2013’s most critically acclaimed releases. From Lollapalooza to Pitchfork, the British duo made waves with their electro-house sound. Blast “Settle” during the last moments of your all-nighter, celebrate, Spring Break is in sight. Go ace your test and then party to “Settle” later. You did this, go you.
If all else fails, there’s always good ol’ trusty Hans Zimmer Pandora station.
So, Marquette, what’s on your study playlist?