When the place at which you study suggests it’s best for you to do an assignment (probably because it’s worth a healthy 20 percent or more), unfortunately, the best excuses in the world won’t help you if it doesn’t get done. Being students in the 21st century, in a country that embraces radical hedonism, New Zealand Uni students know how to really reward themselves for putting in even the slightest bit of work. I know this too well as I occasionally confuse the term ‘indulge’ as meaning ‘reward’; they do sound awfully similar. This unfortunate malapropism often leads to rather substandard work, a low output and high blood pressure from consuming the whole block of chocolate then nursing a sore stomach, instead of beginning the task at hand.
There is a way to synchronise the indulgence and reward process, all while losing yourself in your work. Before you know it, your work is completed to a high standard. This isn’t foolproof, it is subjective and completely dependent on your tastes. I’m not offering a manufacturer’s guarantee either, but I am promising you’ll at least expand your musical horizons in the process.
I present to you my fifteen perfect study tunes. These are in the chronological order with which you should play them, this means no shuffling because I have reasons for the sequence I have constructed using Spotify. Playing these songs out of order might be conducive to failing your assignment, and you wouldn’t want that now.
- Threnody – Goldmund:
With the rise of meditation, yoga and other wellbeing exercises, I think it is really important to start your study session with a peaceful instrumental track. This song is a good one to help regulate your breathing and help ease your anxiety when you realise just how much you have to do in the next 2 or 3 hours.
- List of People (To Try and Forget About) – Tame Impala:
This Australian native has been busy writing painfully tragic love songs with a hint (okay, more than a hint) of psychedelia. This one kicks off with digeridoo, need I say any more?
- Give Me Love – Club 8:
Imagine you’ve been traipsing through the woods for three days, desperate for some water and a gorgeous bowl of green thai curry. For me this song is the aural representation of finding that clearing in the woods and a fresh food market.
- Untitled 08 09.06.2014 – Kendrick Lamar:
Low-key hip-hop from the modern king of rap. It’s melodic enough to hum along to, but not raucous enough to break your focus.
- Find – Shallou, Kasbo & Cody Lovaas:
With a little luck you’ve been studying for about 15 or 20 minutes, unless your meditation to the first track put you in a trance and you drifted asleep. This song is peaceful and atmospheric but thanks to a bit of an EDM influence from Kasbo you’ll find this track should help lift your intensity a few notches.
- Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 1 through 5) – Pink Floyd:
Okay, I’m cheating a little here, this could easily be considered five songs but it’s too beautiful to omit from this list. Fun fact, this song was written about Syd Barrett, former front man of Floyd. He went a bit nutty but his band still loved him and dedicated this 13-minute masterpiece to him. I’ve found myself finishing a full PowerPoint of notes before this song is up, so next time you think Pink Floyd are a little indulgent, consider that they did it for your benefit.
- Morning – Beck:
I’m running out of superlatives for these songs, this one fits in brilliantly with some of the previous songs for how dreamy yet inspiring it is. The best song on an album that controversially beat Beyoncé to a Grammy.
- I Kill Giants – The Naked & Famous:
Another song that punctuates the easy-listening vibes of previous tracks with some strong electronic production.
At this point you should take a five-minute break to drink some caffeine, do some press-ups or stretches and regather your sanity. Now resume…
- Lung – Vancouver Sleep Clinic:
I don’t know why I’m so generous to Australians in this playlist but I’m happy to admit they know how to make music. This song fits in the genre of Ambient, but this one builds to a beautiful apex with both haunting vocals and a progressive instrumental.
- Limestone – Magic City Hippies:
This song will make you wish you were at a music festival and hopefully will encourage you to finish your work so that one day you might have the freedom to.
- Can’t Get You Out Of My Head – Kylie Minogue:
Self-explanatory really. I realise this selection removes any credibility this playlist might’ve had previously but can’t forget to include a guilty pleasure. Interchangeable with Hung Up by Madonna as they’re similar songs by has-been pop superstars.
- On Melancholy Hill – Gorillaz:
Everyone’s favourite band with Alter Egos (sorry Daft Punk) are here to help restore your faith in this list of study jams. On Melancholy Hill would be the perfect song to sip cocktails on a tropical beach to, and with all the money you’ll earn after you get your degree, one day you can.
- Never Let Me Go – Florence & The Machine:
She’s got red hair and has an angelic voice. There’s one reason to avoid her and one reason to embrace her right there. Nearly there now, you’re doing great!
- Hypnotised – RUFUS:
Bloom is an excellent album to study to in its entirety but the added presence of female vocals on Hypnotised makes it my pick for this list.
- Midnight (Original Mix) – Lane 8:
We started with an instrumental and now we’re finishing with one. A hypnotic blend of electronic keyboard and what sounds like chimes makes for a pulsating finish to this list.
I knew you could do it! My apologies if my tour de playlist has sounded like a group fitness class with the overly enthusiastic instructor. In making it this far you’ve hopefully got some study in and been enchanted by some peaceful picks and not put off by Kylie’s presence. I encourage you to make your own study playlist because it genuinely makes studying feel a lot less like hard work, and more like something you can power through to reap the rewards on the other side.
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