Monday Mixer – “Study Music” Playlist

04/18/2011
music studying playlist

Can you relate to this guy? We're here for you.

Do you look like this? We hope not–because if you’re reading this post that means you’re procrastinating and should probably click the “X” button on the top right, close your laptop, take a deep breath, tell yourself it will be okay, and then GET TO WORK! No, really.

It’s that time of the year and for many young folk (in school) this means preparing for the dreaded final exams, while “adults” (we quote that because we’re still all kids right? right…) have to prepare their taxes, and everyone can commiserate in this poo poo of a time (yes, I wrote poo poo because it’s “politer”). This week’s Monday Mix, a playlist assembled by a group of music bloggers each week with a different theme, was themed “study music” so we could be in your thoughts when you pulled out your hair, grind your teeth and curse your laptop. Hopefully, this playlist helps as you get through the grind.

Confusion at Pigeon and Planes

Wilco: “Summer Teeth”

[audio: http://www.box.net/shared/static/d78x32qh0d.mp3]

Honestly, most of the time I don’t listen to music when I study. I don’t know how some people do it, but I can only assume that my brain is less developed than most. For me, listening to music is a huge distraction – if a good song comes on while I’m driving, usually I will veer off the road and sometimes I will crash into things. I’ve learned that new songs take more focus, so when I’m studying I like to revisit old familia

Ben at Metropolitan Jolt

Bonobo: “We Could Forever”

[audio: http://www.metrojolt.com/Music/Bonobo/06%20We%20Could%20Forever.mp3]

As a student and music blogger, I love this weeks theme. I study with all sorts of music, it mainly depends on what shows are coming up and how engrossing (if at all) the work I’m doing is. No matter my mood, energy level, or focus Bonobo can always keep me going. We Could Forever is a perfect harmony for me. It is energetic enough to revitalize me with even the most boring assignment, while the lack of lyrics makes sure I’m not distracted.

David at SFCritic

Philip Glass: “Metamorphosis Two”

[audio: http://www.box.net/shared/static/r3xsph9qz4.mp3]

While studying I could never listen to music that overpowered my thoughts. Lyrical music was out of the question. Ambient music was fine, but never stimulating. And then there was classical music, always stimulating, always fitting for the tranquility of a library and intricate like I hoped my thoughts would be. After discovering Philip Glass, I repeated the ten pieces I had of his constantly. Each piece builds, layering repetitions. His music helped me get lost in my work and find many (well actually, just a few) epiphanies.

Marc at Umstrum

Raphael Gualazzi: “Reality & Fantasy” (Giles Peterson Remix)

[audio: http://www.box.net/shared/static/9zg1vlh8nh.mp3]

When I think “studying music”, this track is one of the first tracks that come to mind. I don’t know if it’s the chilled out vibe or the soft jazzy vocals, but this song seems to have something that soothes my nerves and helps me concentrate.

Marcus at A Pocket Full of Seeds

Paper Crows: “Fingertips” (Acoustic)

[audio: http://www.box.net/shared/static/ommjcm3bu3.mp3]

Study music is always good music. Great thinking music which gives you a chance to be wildly introspective and suddenly command a huge amount of gravitas without too much effort. Having just emerged from essay season I have existed mainly on a diet of Ludovico Einaudi and M83 but a great new addition to my work songlist is the acoustic version of Paper Crows’ latest single which manages to get the essential mix of melody and and energy absolutely right so as to be beautiful, subtle and powerful.

Marc at Mostly Junkfood

CEO: “Come With Me”

[audio: http://mostlyjunkfood.com/treats/2010/06/Come-With-Me.mp3]

I won’t lie, studying was probably the only thing I didn’t do in college. But I could imagine having my nose in a book to this song from CEO’s “White Magic” album. “I keep it real,” they remind you and they ask that you “come away to a place we call reality.” This song wouldn’t be out of place on the soundtrack to the Leonardo Dicaprio/Danny Boyle movie “The Beach.” The BPM is high enough for you to gnaw on your pencil eraser as the study drugs take hold and cause sweat to evacuate your pores, resulting in pit-stain oceans underneath your arms. Good luck with finals, there’s always the beach.

Kevin at Lost In The Sound

Explosions In The Sky: “Your Hand In Mine”

[audio: http://www.box.net/shared/static/upko0f2i94.mp3]

I remember when I had an all-nighter ahead of me and I asked my friend for good study music. He told me to listen to post-rock, and Explosions in the Sky was my first taste of that genre, which completely branched out my music library. “Your Hand In Mine” is an instrumental where the music, more than ever, proves to be more important than lyrics. It is a motivational song that makes you want to do something valuable with your time, and not stop until the song is over. Sometimes my focus might get caught too much on the song, but trust me: the break is worth it.

Cory at Silence No Good

Andre Nickatina: “Dice of Life (The Bottle)”

[audio: http://www.box.net/shared/static/4khkjsqmct.mp3]

Most of the ‘study music’ or background music I listen to is more for raves and clubs – I like to get real pumped up! But I didn’t think it to be appropriate, so I looked back to my studying music from college.

Andre Nickatina’s “Dice of Life” was one of the many West Coast hip-hop tracks I loved to listen to while studying. Most of Nickatina’s may not be the best studying music, but put him up against some soothing sounds and his voice glides well in the background when ya gotta get your study on.