Study music: some people can’t stand it, and some people can’t live without it. For me, background music when studying is 50/50, especially depending on the subject I’m working on. However, for those occurrences that I do play music, these are the albums I like to listen to.
SLING by Clairo
You might know: “Amoeba” and “Bambi.”
My favorites: “Just For Today,” “Harbor” and “Zinnias.”
Sling, while also just being one of my favorite albums in general, is 100% my favorite album to study to. Clairo’s soft, harmonious voice is mixed with steady piano and a myriad of other instruments (like horns, strings and woodwinds) to create a collection of songs that fit together like ripples in a pond. The 1970s folk sounds mixed in with her usual indie pop genre flow nicely together, and the songwriting is beautiful and heart-wrenching. Due to its quiet and understated nature, this album is great to study to, as it’s soft enough to not be too distracting. The different instruments almost create an invisible cocoon around you, encasing you in the murmuring beauty of Clairo’s mind and keeping the distractions out.
TAPESTRY by Carole King
You might know: “Where You Lead” and “I Feel the Earth Move.”
My favorites: “So Far Away” and “Home Again.”
Carole King’s 1971 album Tapestry is the album equivalent of a warm hug. King’s voice is rich and mellow, and her songwriting is incredible. This album has a good mix of slower piano-centered folk songs and faster-paced songs that lean more towards folk-rock. The differences in tempo and sound help keep it interesting to listen to when working on assignments. King’s tender voice immerses you in a blanket of fall feelings that keep the library chills to a minimum.
STRANGER IN THE ALPS by Phoebe Bridgers
You might know: “Motion Sickness” and “Scott Street.”
My favorites: “Killer,” “Smoke Signals” and “You Missed My Heart.”
Stranger in the Alps is most often cited as an immensely sad album which, to be fair, is the case. However, its ability to pull at your heartstrings creates a beautiful and intimate work of indie-rock art. Bridger’s voice is sweet, soothing, breezy and conversational. Her use of strings (whether it be violin, guitar or bass) makes this album especially interesting to listen to, while the employment of the piano helps make it something that assists in concentration and focus.
PUNISHER by Phoebe Bridgers
You might know: “Kyoto” and “Moon Song.”
My favorites: “Punisher,” “Savior Complex” and “ICU.”
Phoebe Bridger’s sophomore album Punisher is one of my favorite albums of all time. While her voice still carries the same melodious and breezy tone as in her first album, Stranger in the Alps, Punisher feels more technical. Somehow, it manages to preserve everything that made her previous work so amazing while also continuing to shift and grow into something more mature and completely different. The songs all have distinct sounds, yet work well together and allow you to be transported to another world. This album is great to study to, as the soft nature of Bridger’s voice makes focusing come easy, and the music is relaxing and blocks out disturbances.
Those were just a few of my favorites to listen to while studying or doing work! Alternatively, some people, including myself occasionally, find it easier to study when listening to music that doesn’t have lyrics. My preferred albums to listen to in these occurrences are movie soundtracks! A few of my personal favorites are the soundtracks to Ratatouille, Little Women (2019), Call Me by Your Name and Wall-E. Another alternative to movie soundtracks is Lofi study music.
Studying with music can make concentration easier, help relax you as you work and make tedious assignments seem to fly by. While these are my personal favorites to accomplish all of this, not everybody has the same taste. If these don’t strike your fancy, try listening to different genres to see what works for you. Happy studying!