#mixtape is a feature in which we ask someone to send in a playlist of ten tracks they’re enjoying at the moment and then get them to say a few things about each track. The idea being to see what we can gauge from someone’s music taste whilst listening to some cool tunes. We could go on about it a bit more but that’s about it really.
This week I have been revising. Sometimes. Nowhere near enough as I should have been – but these sporadic bursts of work ethic (lovely image eh?), have turned my thoughts to what kind of music I can actually work to. A really odd mix of stuff, it turns out. Because my moods during studying are very changeable (often reminiscent of the psychological stages of grief, from denial, anger and bargaining, but perhaps not ever as far as acceptance), this has a bearing on what music I’m in the mood for to accompany my desperate study attempts. During essay season I listened heavily to ambient music while working, (perhaps the word ‘heavily’ isn’t very apt here?), predominantly in the small hours, from Brian Eno to Jónsi and Alex and youarelistening.to: my new favourite website. As deadlines loomed ever closer I moved on to more intense, urgent music, such as the Gravity OST by Stephen Price. The pieces start off pretty ambient, though vaguely threatening, and gain intensity, so towards the end I was often typing fast as anything, for fear I might get hit by space debris if I didn’t get my bloody work done. This was pretty effective for getting an essay typed up fast, but perhaps not so great for all that intense revision I’ve been doing this week (ahem).
Think of this playlist not as a great study buddy for all (it is a ridiculous mix and we all work differently anyway – I’m no musical super hero), but more as an insight into my bizarre, changeable and sporadic study routine. How self-indulgent. When I’ve not started to lose it a bit and started repeatedly listening to The Wolf of Wall Street chest thump remix here’s what seems to help me work.
1. Jónsi and Alex – Happiness
This song is from a go-to study album for me, it’s calming, ambient and beautiful. I also used to fall asleep to this album every night though, which maybe isn’t a great link…
2. Sigur Rós – Varuđ
When I need something vaguely calming to study to, but not as chilled at Jónsi and Alex, I listen to Sigur Rós’ album Valtari. It’s painfully beautiful and perhaps one of their more ambient efforts. This song builds in intensity as well, so has a similar effect to the Gravity OST, though with 100% less imaginary space debris.
3. Smoke Fairies – Storm Song
Another album I listened to a lot in the past while studying. This duo have a really nice mix of influences which make for songs both understated and wistful. Really lovely- I am so glad I rediscovered them this week.
4. Tune-Yards – Water Fountain
I heard this for the first time on 6music just as I woke up the other week and I have become addicted to it ever since. It’s a bit of a mood changer here; I see this as a study break dance song. (As if I ever take study breaks! To dance! Ha!)
5. Pavement – Major Leagues
Typically laid back and so very pretty, this song calms me down a bit which is always good for studying, eh? Also Pavement are just the best!
6. The Spook School – I Don’t Know
This lot are so damn catchy. I’ve had this song (as well as I’ll Be Honest) in my head all week. They are such a fun band and I fully recommend that you invest in their album.
7. Paws – Sore Tummy
Paws are such a fantastic band, and this is one of my favourite songs. This is on the playlist for much the same reasons as the next one.
8. Mazes – Summer Hits (J&J Don’t Like)
Much of my time studying over this pretty gloriously sunny week has been spent wistfully staring out of the window wishing I wasn’t spending warm summer days indoors revising. Because of this I’ve got a lot of songs which remind me of summer on this list. This is yet another. The lyrics are so perfect for this as well: ‘I want to be a slob and I wanna sit at home without a job’, ugh! If only!
9. Joanna Gruesome – Do You Really Wanna Know Why Yr Still In Love With Me?
I’ve only just listened to this album. Why? Why did I wait around so long to hear this bloody fantastic band? Don’t make the same mistake! Listen to this album! Quick!
10. Fucked Up – The Other Shoe
The past few songs are quite loud. They get me pepped up and ready to work. THIS BAND REALLY GETS ME PEPPED UP TO REVISE! I SAW THEM LIVE AND GOT PUNCHED IN THE FACE IN A MOSH PIT! TOTALLY APPROPIATE FOR REVISION! GRRR! This song also sums up how I feel when revising. What a cheery note to end on!
Holly Read-Challen is a Sociology student at the University of Edinburgh who has been working on this as a form of procrastination. When not revising Holly enjoys watching lots of telly, swooning over Davids Bowie, Byrne and Lynch and thinking wistfully about tailored menswear.
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