By Justin Metcalf, Assistant News Editor–


When I study for exams, write articles, or produce any kind of work, I prefer to be in a comfortable environment. Comfortable means I lock myself in my room, diffuse essential oils,  drink peppermint tea, and listen to music. Most of these specificities are not readily available if I am away from home, but the one constant is music. Even though I do not mindfully listen, the continuous background noise keeps me engaged. I also just enjoy bopping along to make tasks feel less like a chore and more like a fun activity. I picked these artists because their songs work well as ambience while not being too distracting. In no particular order, here is a list of 10 artists whose music helps me accomplish my work. 

  1. Kelsey Lu – This artist gracefully mixes string and woodwind instruments with electronic sounds for a dreamy and elaborate feel, which is perfect for studying. I recommend her songs “Time,” “Morning After Coffee” and “Shades of Blue.” 
  2. Hannah Epperson – Her experimental albums have two versions of each song: a simplified version featuring string instruments and a poppy, electronic version. I recommend her songs “Iodine (Amelia),” “Cat’s Cradle (Iris)” and “Farthest Distance (Amelia).” 
  3. Aphex Twin – This is the perfect artist if you enjoy electronic ambient music to guide you as you work. His discography also contains some beautiful piano compositions. I recommend his songs “Avril 14th,” “Actium”  and “Film.” 
  4. Max Richter – His work includes experimental electronica and classical piano music, and he has composed soundtracks for dozens of movies and TV series. I recommend “Organum,” “On The Nature of Daylight” and “Written On The Sky.” 
  5. Moses Sumney – His songs have a soothing and romantic feel to them, and his vocals are a highlight. I recommend “Indulge Me,” “Polly,” and “Virile.” 
  6. Grouper – Although her songs have a heavy mood to them, the ambient and dreamy sound is nice background noise. I recommend the songs “Clearing,” “Driving” and “Invisible.” 
  7. Mutual Benefit – This indie folk band crafts music with a lighthearted, psychedelic feel. I recommend “That Light That’s Binding,” “Shedding Skin” and “Storm Cellar Heart.”  
  8. Solange – Her songs are ethereal, powerful and will get your body moving during tedious studying. I recommend “Sound of Rain,” “Binz” and “Cranes in the Sky.” 
  9. Kilo Kish – An alternative artist whose songs use electronic and pop sounds, Kilo Kish energizes me while I work. I recommend her songs “Alive,” “Elegance” and “San Pedro.” 
  10. Julie Byrne – Her songs make me feel like I am lying in a field of flowers with their spacey, atmospheric instrumentals. I recommend “Natural Blue,” “Sleepwalker” and “Wisdom Teeth Song.” 

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