July 23, 2019 | 71° F

Inside Beat's Ultimate Study Playlist


Photo Illustration | With exam sessions beginning, listening to music that provides a range of both calming and upbeat sounds will enable a balanced focus on academic material.

Let’s face it — no one really wants to study, ever. But we all want that high grade to make future employers think that we actually accomplished something productive within our four years in college. 

If you’re studying for a subject that’s not particularly interesting or if you’re sacrificing sleep to bury your nose in a textbook, here is a list of albums to help you get through your next expository essay or organic chemistry problem sets and get that study morale up and running.

1. “Overgrown“ by James Blake

James Blake is known for taking a stripped-down approach to his music, and he made no exception with “Overgrown.” Blake’s soulful voice and quivering bass are ideal for winding down after a long day of classes and getting into the right mindset for tackling impending classwork. The album’s opener and namesake, “Overgrown,” along with “Retrograde,” should start you off on the right foot.

BONUS: During one of your study breaks, be sure to check out the music video for Blake’s “Life Round Here” collaboration with “Beats on the Banks” headliner Chance the Rapper.

2. “Fever Ray” by Fever Ray

Fever Ray is a solo project by Karin Dreijer Andersson, who is half of the former sibling duo, “The Knife.” The self-titled album is a darker version of the sound Andersson and her brother perfected. “If I Had A Heart” and “Concrete Walls” would be paired best with a class you strongly dislike so you could channel your negativity through Andersson’s distorted vocals and heavy bass lines. 

3. “Classics” by Ratatat

“Classics” contains no vocals whatsoever, which is ideal for essays or studying material requiring some extra concentration. Ratatat relies primarily on electric guitars to carry their songs, and if you’re familiar with their trippy instrumentation on Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness,” you would know their riffs are incredibly infectious. “Wildcat,” “Loud Pipes” and “Kennedy” are great for keeping motivation levels high when you’re stuck on a calculus problem.

4. “Morning Phase” by Beck

If you’re looking for something quieter, Beck’s “Morning Phase” is the album for you. This isn’t 1990s “Loser” Beck, mind you. There are no random samples or odd metaphors — not that there’s anything wrong with that. On “Morning Phase,” Beck keeps things beautifully simple, meaning this album is the premier album to listen to before, during or after studying. Play “Waking Light” to start off your study session on a good note, “Don’t Let It Go” when Sakai is crashing before an assignment is due and “Blue Moon” if your study partner never shows up at the library the night before your midterm.

Zari Haynes-Prescott

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