As midterm season comes to a close, the stress of schoolwork seems a little more distant. But, let’s be real: It’s not going anywhere. That being said, study sessions don’t always have to be so bad. With assignments that have been left to the last minute, essays that are due before you realize and weeks worth of readings, sometimes it may feel like your work is getting the best of you. Don’t underestimate the power of a calming track to ease your anxiety.
Here are five indie pop songs that will get you through your problem sets with a little more focus.
“Intro” — The xx
While most would pay no mind to a two-minute, wordless song titled “Intro,” this atmospheric instrumental is actually one of The xx’s best tracks — and would be a perfect addition to any study mix. It begins with a captivating guitar hook, leading to the addition of synth instrumentals and eventually lead singer Romy Madley Croft’s inaudible vocals. The song flows remarkably well and has a relaxing feel to it without being distracting. Isn’t that what we’re looking for in the perfect background study music?
“Dive” — Beach House
Beach House provides endless material when it comes to dreamy indie pop, with most of its songs comprising of slow, soft beats and unintelligible vocals; “Dive” is the epitome of this. The song begins with an organ base and follows with the addition of guitar and drums, all tied together by lead singer Victoria Legrand’s husky vocals. With all of Beach House’s defining characteristics, “Dive” is guaranteed to calm you down in the middle of a stressful assignment.
“Flaming Hot Cheetos” — Clairo
“Flaming Hot Cheetos” sounds like something between lo-fi pop and elevator music — and it works so well. Clairo’s hushed voice and softly thumping rhythm act as white noise: Both her vocals and the accompanying beats are steady, calm and soft. The song as a whole will give you the chill backdrop you need to keep your thoughts in order during a cram session.
“Electric Feel” — MGMT
This song will take you back 10 years and ease your pre-test anxiety at the same time. The lyrics don’t make much sense, but it doesn’t matter because the bass, psychedelic synth line and ‘80s-inspired instrumentals will have you in a good mood as you grind out your work in an otherwise stressful setting.
“Nobody Cares” — Superorganism
Superorganism’s self-titled album is full of electronic pop, and “Nobody Cares” is one of the most chill tracks they’ve put out. One wouldn’t expect their lively music to work as a backdrop for focused studying. Despite a dynamic variety of sounds, samples and vocals, this song is surprisingly relaxing and makes a great ambient tune for a study session.