10 Songs You Motivate You To The End Of The Semester

We have managed to stave off our mid-semester blues with the power of music. We have gotten through midterms and the end of the semester is in sight, but the motivation to actually get there is rapidly dwindling.

You might be wondering what to do. But before that, let’s talk about how you got into such a situation in the first place.

If there is any surefire way to sap your academic motivation, it is to sit in your room, the lounge or the library with no music running through your ears. Forcing yourself to be alone with the text will only make you despise it further. You might even consider pulling the window open and launching your studies (amongst other things) right out of it.

I don’t think I need to tell you where you’ll find your cure, right?

My friends, don’t throw out your back whipping your nearest window open. You need not do something so drastic. To help my fellow Jaspers out, I have compiled some of my favorite motivation tracks that span from the rock to electronica into one compact playlist. All you need to do is grab a pair of headphones, plug ‘em in and listen to it. You’ll be crossing things off of your to-do list so fast, you’ll be begging for other things to do.

Isn’t music wonderful?

“I Want You Back (Alive)” by Graham Parker, off of his record, Essential Graham Parker.

F*ck The Jackson 5’s version. This is the best version of the song.

Yes, I understand that The Jackson 5 wrote the song, but Graham Parker infused it with an energy and rock attitude that was missing in the original. This energy is infectious and will overwhelm your tired body with inspiration. Parker isn’t going to let you go so fast – he needs you back (at the end of the semester, of course), alive.

Parker’s voice is gruff and sharp, delivering Michael Jackson’s lyrics with a stronger desperation. The steady tempo provides you with a comfortable beat to bob your head and scrawl sentences out to. The use of guitars gives the Motown classic a much needed revitalization by creating a fuller-sounding melody.

Just don’t argue with me on this one. You’re not going to want to listen to The Jackson 5 original ever again.

“How Can You Really” by Foxygen, off of their album, …And Star Power.

“How Can You Really” is, much like “I Want You Back (Alive),” is a steady-paced song that sounds like it was ripped straight from the 1970s. Lead singer, Sam France, has a dreamy, hypnotizing voice that would otherwise lull you into a sleepy daze. Thankfully, the piano melody is a repetitive, constant presence that jolts you back into reality. You’ll want to thrust your body in every direction in some ill-made decision to dance.

I mean, it’s one way to get your blood pumping.

The chorus is powerful explosion of sound that will inspire you to turn those textbook pages like it’s nobody’s business. You’ll scramble to get your studies together each time you hear the introductory chorus horn.

Given that “How Can You Really” is a solid, 3 minute 33 second song, you’ll be scrambling a lot. Your self-induced panics will help you make some serious headway in your research papers.

“Fifteen (Oxford Remix)” by Goldroom, featuring Chela, off of Majestic Casual – Chapter 1.

“Fifteen” is a misleading track. It begins with gentle and atmospheric instrumentals and is layered with a voice that comes in soft and smooth. The synthesizers are quiet and welcoming, but it does not last long. They introduce a world of pounding chords and repeating guitar riffs that explode into a wondrous electro-dance motivation melody.

The song hammers out a throbbing drum beat that pulls the repeated lyric, “Fifteen / We’re floating through the slip screen,” back down to Earth. The guitar riff floats in and out of the pulsating synthesizer chords, keeping your mind awake as you tear through your studies.

This would be an optimal time to take a quick dance break before tackling on more schoolwork.

“Rendez Vous” by La Plage, off of their single, “Rendez Vous / Mark.”

There has never been a song that better captured the feeling of walking down a sunny beach with sand in your toes than “Rendez Vous” by La Plage.

“Rendez Vous” features sun-stained, staccato guitar chords with the sweet voice of lead singer, Flore. Her coos are mere whispers over the heavy dance beat that is fueled by the guitar and drums. She repeats “I got this burning / feeling inside me” in the chorus, which might match the ever-burning desire to get your homework done today.

Plain and simple, this is dance music done right.

“What You Know” by Two Door Cinema Club, off of their record, Tourist History.

The debut record of Two Door Cinema Club is timeless and iconic. The song, “What You Know,” even moreso.

The opening guitar riffs are packed with energy and inspire even the shyest of people to get on their feet and dance. The individual notes layered over those chords twinkle brightly and press you further, begging you to complete your work.

This song is relentless in its speed and energy, giving only momentary breaks to provide Alex Trimble the glory his voice deserves. Use this song as the template for your work schedule. Frantic working sessions, momentary mental breaks.

“Know Me” by Frankie Rose, off of her album, Interstellar.

Frankie Rose is my dream-pop queen. “Know Me” is a song that is dripping in blurred guitar chords and swirling vocal drones, all topped off with a warm buzz. The guitar drowns you in gentle sound; the aural overwhelm forcing you to listen deeper into “Know Me.”

Rose’s voice is sweet and hypnotic. Paired with the repetition of “don’t know me, don’t know me, I know,” her voice only becomes even more entrancing. Lose yourself within the dreamy waves of this track and forget that the outside world exists. You have work to do.

“California” by Grimes, off of her record, Art Angels.

Grimes opens up “California” with brutal honesty: “This / Music makes me cry / It sounds just like my soul.” You could likely make the same argument about how your papers make you feel.

Despite the upbeat clapping, Claire Boucher’s bright howls and the swelling fuzz of the synthesizer, “California” is one hell of a dark song. Boucher sings, “California / I didn’t think you’d end up treat me so bad,” which are lines that provide a different perspective of the often-romanticized state.

Her voice gives the impression of fragility, but it is the strongest feature of the song. Boucher’s wails will resonate loudly in your head long after you’ve finished listening to this playlist.

“No Excuses” by Air France, off of their album, No Way Down.

Air France, yet another great Swedish musical act. With that being said, I’ll be moving there now. See you.

The opening instrumentals invite you to comforting world of sunshine and carelessness. The lyrics, “No excuses left / Waiting to fail / But not quite yet,” provide you with a gentle motivation that is propelled by the string section.

The strings sparkle; the guitars call back memories of sunnier shores and crystal blue waters. It’ll only be a matter of time until you enjoying yourself loudly under the sun with “Rendez Vous” by La Plage, but until then, be captured by the sound of Air France and get back to work.

“Heartbeat” by Bag Raiders, off of their eponymous debut.

I’m fascinated by how well Bag Raiders managed to capture the sensation of the heartbeat in the opening of their song, “Heartbeat.”

Start turning those pages faster and up your heart rate to match the tempo of this fantastic electro-dance track. The low, gravelly voice of Jack Glass beckons you closer to the bouncing, heavy bass like a siren, and submerges you without warning into the synthesizer-bass-drum whirlpool.

“Heartbeat” is just a feel-good song. The upbeat chorus is infectious and you will find yourself dancing in your seat to Bag Raider’s rhythms. It’ll keep you studying – that’s all that matters. When you’re done, you can crank up the volume and dance your heart out.

“Kill The Director” by The Wombats, off of the record, A Guide To Love, Loss & Desperation.

You can’t have a motivation playlist without the speed and attitude of quintessential indie Brit-Rock.

I wanted to send you off with the fastest song possible in order to keep you pushing through your studies. Matthew Murphy’s voice is laden with an unrequited desperation as he sings about the most mundane things (“Whenever she looks / I read the nearest paper / But I don’t care about the soaps” and “Carrots help us see much better in the dark / don’t talk to girls / they’ll break your heart,” specifically).

The bass and guitar are in constant conversation with one another and it makes for quite the listen. “Kill The Director” features a frantic tempo – a sensation you might experience when you’re scrambling to pull your work together.

Fret not, my fellow Jasper. Now that you’re motivated, you’ll never crawl to the deadline again.

You can listen to this week’s playlist via Spotify below.