Whether it’s sultry rhythm and blues or uplifting indie; we all have our favourite soundtracks to get us through those long days of exam preparation. With the monotony of online school setting in, updating your playlist can be a great way to keep those study sessions fresh.
From Toronto rap to Quebecoise folk, I’ve scoured the depths of the internet to find some of the best Canadian artists to boost your revision this finals season.
- Leif Vollebekk
Originally from Ottawa, Vollebekk’s music combines piano rhythms, pulsing beats and soulful, husky vocals. His 2019 album New Ways is a profoundly personal, extended reflection on loss and heartbreak: the perfect cover-up if you need to shed some secret tears over those upcoming finals. His 2020 release, Long Blue Light has a gentle lulling quality and that country twang which makes long afternoon study sessions flow.
- Noble Oak
During those super-intense study sessions, sometimes even song lyrics can be too distracting. Knuckle down with instrumentals from Vancouver-based artist Noble Oak. His EP Stories is lush with piano riffs, and different tempos layered over one another like syrup. He will make you feel like you’re floating over the snow-capped Rockies or strolling through a Vancouver Island forest, which is much better than being stuck at your desk.
- Savannah Ré
Toronto singer-songwriter Savannah Ré is set for big success after releasing her debut album, Opia, last November and supporting Jessie Reyez on tour. Tracks such as “Homies” combine mellow R&B with harmonious vocals. Citing Beyonce among her influences, Ré’s LP will rejuvenate you and make writing your college paper feel like child’s play.
- Basia Bulat
Basia Bulat’s distinctive, mesmerizing voice is as unique as her name. Alternative and folk influences reign strong in this peach-haired musician’s work. Think of Joni Mitchell. Her new album Are You In Love? features some gems to accompany your revision session, “Pale Blue” glows has haunting strings, and “Electric Roses” is bittersweet yet psychedelic.
Dan Snaith, AKA Caribou, is a music veteran whose career in the electronic music industry has lasted over 20 years. From humble beginnings in a small Ontario town, he has achieved acclaim with his mixes that blend synthetic sounds with indie artistry. His 2021 effort, Suddenly Remixes, is experimental and quick-paced, yet subtle enough to incorporate into your next revision soundtrack.
Transport yourself to a sun-soaked Parisian terrace, sipping on a café au lait and tucking into a buttery, flaky croissant (Is it time for a snack break yet?). Les Dahlias ne Meurent Pas is a romantic, ethereal indie-pop album which sparkles with Claudelle’s sultry vocals. Feel classy by adding this Montreal-based songstress to your music collection.
Whatever your preferred study sound, I hope this guide helps you craft that perfect playlist for the next time you hit the books.