Albums To Listen To While Studying

With midterm exams quickly approaching, here are some of the best albums to help you stay focused while you’re hitting the books.


Anna Sullivan

With exams quickly approaching, try these five albums to help you study. The songs have a mellow beat, creating a calm and easy environment for focusing on academics.

“Untrue” by Burial

Genre(s): Future Garage, UK Garage, Ambient, Trip-Hop

Considered by many to be the best electronic album of the last decade, “Untrue” is Burial’s best album to date. The ethereal atmosphere created by the looming sub-bass combined with hypnotic drums and pitched R&B samples make for an absolutely captivating listen. This album is just as good for background music as it is for paying attention to the incredibly detailed instrumental sections. Burial creates an ambience with his unique sampling technique that is unmatched in electronic music since it’s release in 2007.




“xx” by The xx

Genre(s): Indie Rock

When The xx released its self-titled album “xx” in 2009, it was a breath of fresh air for indie rock. The calmness created by this trio, comprised of producer Jamie xx, vocalist and guitarist Romy Madley, and vocalist and bassist Oliver Slim, is unparalleled. With iconic tracks such as “Intro” and “VCR” to lead off the record, the relaxed tone quickly becomes clear to the listener. The soft voices of Slim and Madley gel incredibly well with the skilled production of Jamie xx, making it an amazing album to put on when looking over notes or sifting through flash cards.




“Helplessness Blues” by Fleet Foxes

Genre(s): Folk, Indie Folk, Folk Rock

Arguably one of the best folk albums of this millennium, if not of all time, “Helplessness Blues” is perhaps the most energetic album on this list. Lead singer Robin Pecknold’s beautiful lyricism paints astonishing pictures over the incredibly complex instrumentals. Swirling guitars, rising and crashing as swiftly as Pecknold’s melodies, make for another calming listen. This album can demand your attention at some points, like on “The Shrine/An Argument,” but overall it provides for an excellent listen while studying.




“Person Pitch” by Panda Bear

Genre(s): Experimental Pop, Psychedelia, Avant-Garde, Post-Rock

Noah Lennox, better known as Panda Bear, released his most acclaimed solo effort, “Person Pitch,” back in 2007. He can usually be found behind the mic for the experimental band Animal Collective. “Person Pitch” is most commonly praised for its addictive repetition, as seen on the track “Take Pills,” as well as their use of a Cocteau Twins influenced vocal style. Apart from the jarring first track, “Comfy in Nautica,” the record is a laid-back listen. His vocals are powerful, yet not distracting. His simple sampling techniques and flawless track-to-track transitions make for a captivating listen. This album is an essential for late night studying.




“Music has the Right to Children” by Boards of Canada

Genre(s): IDM, Ambient, Electronica, Trip-Hop

“Music has the Right to Children” is one of the most influential electronic albums of all time, and it was released by Boards of Canada back in 1998. In an extremely important record in IDM (Intelligent Dance Music, which evolved from ambient techno and electronica), Boards of Canada combined ambient electronic music with hip-hop drum loops to create an enthralling listening experience. From the arpeggiating synths on “Roygbiv,” to the more low-key tracks like “An Eagle in Your Mind,” the Scottish electronic duo that makes up Boards of Canada created a perfect album for exam season.


Evan Tridone is a Contributor for The Patriot and