By: Kitty Cheung, Jennifer Low, Gabrielle McLaren, Nicole Magas, Ana Staskevich, and Alison Wick
For the start of midterms, some of The Peak staff collaborated on a list of their favourite study music. From all-inclusive genres to specific albums, find their listening recommendations, along with samples of each, below. May the music below inspire you to study or the article help you continue to procrastinate.
WALK THE MOON — Ana, Staff Writer
Studying has always been a struggle for me, simply because procrastination is a millennial prerogative and ambition is difficult to come by in the student realm. Aimlessly browsing your notes hoping for a last-minute epiphany is never good in silence. I am the type of person who enjoys an upbeat and driven environment, which is why WALK THE MOON has the perfect mix of genres to get me focused. Dabbling between synth-rock and indie pop, the band’s ‘80s vibe throws you into a world of vibrance and aspiration. Rather than getting lost in a sea of slow baroque and blues, WALK THE MOON will give you much needed studying motivation and is perfect to zone out to when you need a break from those arduous math equations.
What if Nothing (Album Trailer) – WALK THE MOON
Classical Music — Nicole, Opinions Editor
I’m the kind of person who can’t study or do homework with any kind of words or chatter swimming around in my ears. However, I do occasionally like to listen to music to keep me going. Naturally, the only music I can concentrate with is classical music. My favourites are: “Hungarian Dance no. 5” by Johannes Brahms for when I need something to tap my foot to, “Arabian Dance” by Tchaikovsky for when I really need to concentrate, and “Concerto L’inverno” by Vivaldi when I’m about to fall asleep at my fifth hour of reading. Without words or aggressively catchy choruses, classical music allows me to actually block out the world and get shit done.
Hungarian Dance no. 5 – Johannes Brahms
Hadestown Original Broadway Cast Recording — Gabrielle, Editor-in-Chief
I was late to the Hadestown party and shocked that I hadn’t heard of a post-apocalyptic/Great Depression-inspired musical retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth. I have very specific tastes and this checks many boxes. Anaïs Mitchell’s music has a surprising range of instruments and emotions; in 13 songs, you get some jazz, blues, soul, ballads, big Broadway ensemble songs, and even random noises like train horns. Personally, this variety keeps me awake when I study. The breaks I need to take to sing along or process the more gut-wrenching songs are also good, and I’ve caught on to the poetically catchy lyrics quickly. You’d get more songs and story from the non-Broadway original cast recording, but then you’d miss out on the amazing vocals of André de Shields (Hermes) and Eva Noblezada (Eurydice). You don’t want to miss those; these people and this soundtrack won Tonys for good reasons.
Hadestown on Broadway Song Medley
Songs to Break Up To and Songs to Make Up To by Ta-Ku — Kitty, Staff Writer
Ta-ku’s Songs to Break Up To is a beautifully crafted collection of beats. Smooth, refined, and orgasmic to the ears, Ta-ku’s mellow electronic style is suitable for any people who study to lo-fi and hip-hop (if you’ve ever searched for study music on YouTube and clicked the thumbnail of that anime girl falling asleep over her books, I’m looking at you!). This Australian producer incorporates sounds like chains clinking to evoke feelings of heartbreak. He later follows up with another EP called Songs to Make Up To, a more optimistic response to experiencing love. I would recommend both of these EPs, as most of the tracks are instrumentals which can lull you into both tender love-ache and full-on study mode.
Beginning to end – Ta-ku (Songs to Break Up To)
Against the Current — Jennifer, Features Editor
You’d think I’d be happy that I don’t have to suffer through midterms this semester but alas, school always finds a way to make sure you are constantly busy. With so many essays and projects to get through, the only thing that keeps me on task is my productivity playlist. Back in 2016, I discovered the American pop-rock band, Against the Current. Their fast-paced and energetic music switches between pop rock, pop punk and alternative rock sounds. Because every song almost has its own genre, I am always engaged with every song that comes on my playlist.
Lamp — Alison, Arts Editor
Lamp is my new study and transit music. Lamp is a Japanese alternative, jazz, and indie pop trio who have been making music in Tokyo since 2000. Their songs are dreamy and musically complex, layering vocals, synthesizers, flutes, and more. They are at once relaxing and energetic and help me focus on writing, reading, or thinking about nothing. They sound like sunshine and I recommend you listen to them to cure sadness, boredom, and distraction. Although when I have to write an essay in a day, I go for Charli XCX on shuffle because she has energy and hype for days. Vroom, vroom.
Interstellar: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack — Kitty, Staff Writer
Elegant and contemplative, Hans Zimmer’s film score for Interstellar (2014) will gracefully complement any kind of studying. A slow and powerful piano melody is repeated throughout the soundtrack in a theme minimal enough to not be distracting when you’re trying to focus on homework. As the soundtrack transitions between songs and builds up tension throughout the story, the listener is subtly pulled into quiet contemplation. Whether you’re pursuing knowledge by hitting the books or going on your next space adventure, the original motion picture soundtrack for Interstellar will guide you through a beautifully inquisitive journey.