The five best albums for studying during finals season

The ideal albums to facilitate your late-night study sessions

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The albums that will help you survive this finals season.

Lauren Mohan | Cavalier Daily

As we near winter break, students are gearing up for countless stress-induced study sessions on Clem 2 and preparing to spend nights tucked away in Alderman Library’s stacks. Individuals can be seen scattered around Grounds clutching coffee and running to their last classes in an effort to finish the first semester on a high note. If you're looking for something to keep your morale high and your heart rate at a reasonable low, look no further than these indie rock staples. Here are the five best albums to prevent you from hitting that infamous academic wall.

“Visions” by Grimes

The ethereal musings of Claire Boucher create the ideal sonic landscape to facilitate flowing thoughts. Her endearing and barely intelligible lyrics will prevent your mind from following along, allowing for max concentration and the simultaneous consumption of critically-acclaimed art. This glistening indietronica is the epitome of vivid instrumentation, creating a fantastical world of high-pitched vocals and wildly impressive production. Whimsical synth runs create a deep sea of layering one can get lost in on tracks like “Genesis” and “Oblivion,” effortlessly plunging students deep into the throes of intellect. In the spirit of intense study sessions, Boucher created this album in 2 weeks without leaving her room. 

“Somersault” by Beach Fossils

The energizing lullabies created by the violin and soothing vocals of Beach Fossils are certainly the paradox they sound to be. An undercurrent of radiance is coupled with vocalization comparable to sea fog slowly undulating on a cloudy day. However, the brightness of lead singer Dustin Payseur’s lyrics shine through the indie gloom. Students, turn your head toward the fluorescent lights above you and just imagine it really is “May 1st.”

“This Is All Yours” by alt-J

As the embodiment of relaxation and serenity, “This Is All Yours” is the comforting embrace one needs during a long study session. However, the peace of “Warm Foothills” is in stark contrast to the angst-tinted vocals and instrumentation of “Hunger of the Pine,” urging students to take out their frustration through song rather than study guide avoidance. This emotional turmoil is eventually rounded out by a delicate cover of “Lovely Day,” which is an alluring and harmonious homage to Bill Withers. The lyrics promote eventual triumph over an arduous time, which is exactly the energy a student needs during the struggle of finals season.

“Why Are You OK” by Band of Horses

These laid-back indie jams with folk roots are the perfect musical kick-back your brain needs to increase productivity. The melodious vocals of Ben Bridwell will undoubtedly fill your mind with a sense of home-like comfort, while prominent guitar elevates your sense of self through contagious positivity. These twang-soaked chords make you want to let loose and — surprisingly — hit the books. Slower tracks like “Lying Under Oak” are solemn and conducive to intense reading, and songs such as “Throw My Mess” allow you to throw your hands up in confusion and take that much needed break.

“Sound and Color” by Alabama Shakes

After a 12-hour day of work, restore your mind and body with the dense soul that is Brittany Howard’s soaring vocalization. Impressive guitar and vocal riffs will immediately transport listeners into an empowered state of mind, permitting them to feel as if they were high-speed cruising on a sun-soaked summer’s day. Howard’s artistic belting and surprisingly elegant screams are a medium for therapeutic release, and they absolutely have the power to stop students from shouting into the abyss that is an unstarted 15-page final project. As simply stated in “This Feeling,” even though you’re “having a real hard time,” you’re “gonna be alright.”

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