Earphones in, thinking cap on – we’ve all been there. Whether studying with music actually helps reap better results is unclear, as research has been ambiguous and contradictory – but hey, you don’t need scientific evidence to mandate what keeps you productive, or calm and lucid. You do you, and that includes doing whatever helps you get in the zone or tame your exam stress. We’ve compiled a list of local sounds to help, with enough diversity to keep you feeling steady and studious, without making you fall prey to the consequences of bad sleep decisions. Thank us by getting that A.
"Layers" by Intriguant
“Layers” from Intriguant’s 2016 album, Recluse, could be the background track to a Pandora scene straight out of the film Avatar. It’s vivacious, textured and addictive. If songs were visual, this one would glow with the empyrean-like spectacle of bioluminescence. Instead, it’s an auditory world of hyper-focus. Listening to it makes us want to swallow up as much information as possible and build a knowledge bank big enough to get us into NASA, or make an astronomical breakthrough.
"Captivate" by midst
Although midst is in no way new to the music scene, having formed in 2013, there’s something significantly elevating about their sound that will never grow old or falter. The electronic ambient band makes for a great listen if you’re in need of a study sesh kick-start. “Captivate” from their debut EP released in 2016 lulls you inwards with a gentle and gradual tug, before fully plunging you into a zone so focused and present that the world around and all its distractions become unnoticeable. It’s placid enough to not be a disturbance, and eclectic enough to not be a bore.
"While We Sleepwalk" by Paint The Sky Red
Study music walks a fine line. The best sort’s the kind with enough energy to make you actually crave the crunch of cramming key ideas and stats into your head. But you also don’t want something inappropriately emotional, lest it renders you restless or draws out memories instead of keeping you productive in the present. Well, cheers, Paint The Sky Red, for striking the right balance. “While We Sleepwalk” from the instrumental rock band’s second full-length album Not All Who Wonder Are Lost (2015) helps put determination into action.
"Anchor" by Giants Must Fall
Alternative rock group Giants Must Fall’s title track from their second release, The Anchor EP (2013), is one great song to vibe to when you’re in need of something a little more vibrant to make going through math problems seem less dreary and tedious. It’s a good contrast to the repetitiveness of brain-racking and sum-solving. With intriguingly haunting vocals accompanying a symphony of melodies and instruments that traverse spiritual waters, crests and troughs of expression, “Anchor”, like education, really does take you places, without letting your mind stray.
"Light Breaks In" by Charlie Lim
“Deep in the night / Is that where you are?” Charlie Lim croons. Okay, he’s singing to a lover, but yo, studying into the early hours of the morning paints a pretty similar scene. “Light Breaks In” from TIME/SPACE (2015) is a lot softer and more delicate than our other recs; we foresee it doubling up as a lullaby, so we’ll slap on a disclaimer that this pick is perhaps a bit more esoteric in being conducive. Give it a listen if you study best with noise, but aren’t keen on anything overbearing. Perfect to tame panic attacks, and great with some Red Bull or coffee.
Cheers for your contribution to our intellectual capital!
Text Odette Yiu
Banner Image Intriguant