By Jenna Owens
I’m the type of person who is only motivated when I have some background music. You won’t find me at the gym without my headphones in, Fifth Harmony blasting while I push through my workout. The time I spend walking to and from my classes is used for listening to new albums (though admittedly I’ve been blasting The Neighborhood’s Wiped Out! and nothing else for about two weeks straight). When it’s study time, nothing will get done if I don’t have some great music to listen to. Crafting the perfect study playlist is a great way to get you into paper-writing gear, and to help you create yours, I’ve found some great (mostly free!) artists and albums to get you started.
- Jeff Pianki – If you like acoustic/folk music, you’re going to love Jeff Pianki. His bandcamp page has enough music to get you through a whole day of studying, and you’ll find yourself singing his catchy tunes to yourself all the time. Paper Window is a great album of his to start with.
- Caleb Groh – Similar to Jeff Pianki, though a little more upbeat (especially his most recent releases), Caleb Groh is another artist whose bandcamp page has a ton of great music available for free download. His album “Bottomless Coffee” is a favorite of mine, perfect for sipping coffee while you research for a paper or write some notes.
- Spectators – For those wanting something softer and more minimalist, I highly recommend Spectators. Both albums on the bandcamp page are incredible, and perfect for a late night in the library.
- Kristen Holine – Kristen has a soulful voice that makes it difficult not to jam out while you’re studying. Though her original music is not free for download, you can listen to her music on bandcamp for free. She also has a cover album that’s totally free featuring 37 (37!!) covers.
- JT Royster – Following the folk/acoustic theme I have going on here, I’d lastly like to add JT Royster to the list. His style is very similar to that of Jeff Pianki, and equally as catchy. Bonus: he has a little Christmas EP which means you can listen to him year-round!
Of course, there are those times when you’re typing a paper or doing some reading, and music with lyrics is just too distracting. For those looking for some instrumental tunes to study along to, I’ve compiled a list of some great ambient, atmospheric, minimalist finds:
- Lullabies Under a Grey Sky
- The Lonely Bell
- Celer – (not free to download, but free to listen to through bandcamp)
- C418 – And last but not least, you may recognize this music if you ever played Minecraft! Again, not free, but so worth the $4.
And lastly, if none of these artists appealed to you, or if you don’t have the time to make a study playlist of your own, I’ll leave you with the link to my own “Study” playlist on Spotify!
Happy studying friends, and good luck with this semester.