Like many of you, I’ve found myself burdened by the sudden rush of quizzes, exams and deadlines that come with this time of year. In other words: I’m stressed out. I’m not talking about the Twenty-One Pilots kind of “Stressed Out.” I’m referring to the one pilot in a plane making a nosedive kind of stressed out. I am sure you can relate with me. In these moments, it’s important that one remains calm, and music is a great way to ease that nervous tension that we all feel from time to time. To help you out with that, here’s a brief playlist to listen to while you study, get some work done or even take a much-needed nap.
1. “Blue in Green”- Miles Davis
You don’t have to be a huge fan of jazz music to appreciate the legendary Miles Davis. Lately, I’ve been playing some of his albums while working on essays, and it’s remarkable how much more level-headed it makes me. This track from the classic album “Kind of Blue” is one of my personal favorites, and the slow tempos and soulful trumpet playing make excellent background music to just about anything finals week might throw your way.
2. “Wish You Were Here”- Pink Floyd
As a band, Pink Floyd had this ability to go from insane psychedelic noises to some of the most soothing music imaginable. This classic rock radio staple falls more on the softer side and is one of the band’s greatest and most well-known songs.
From the intro guitar that sounds like it’s coming from an old clock radio with a busted speaker to its lush ending, “Wish You Were Here” will always be one of my go-to songs when I need to relax.
3. “I See Fire”- Ed Sheeran
This song was written for the soundtrack for “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” and its strong Celtic folk influences certainly fit the tone of the movie. The acoustic guitars and cellos are nice and calming while the lyrics are about slaying a dragon, so you have the relaxation AND motivation for whatever you may need to do!
4. “Sleep”- Savatage
While many ballads by ‘80s hard rock bands tend to show their age by the time the over-the-top chorus comes around, this relatively obscure cut shows more restraint and seems more timeless than others. Many of the talented musicians from this group would go on to form Trans-Siberian Orchestra, otherwise known as Santa Claus’s favorite metal band.
5. “Wonderful World”- Sam Cooke
This seminal Motown hit is as laid back and catchy as they come.
Plus, isn’t it nice to hear someone else sing how they “Don’t know much about” history, science, and other topics while you study for an exam?