Washington Square News

Staff Recs: Best Music to Study To

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WSN weighs in on what music to listen to while studying.

WSN weighs in on what music to listen to while studying.

Veronica Liow

Veronica Liow

WSN weighs in on what music to listen to while studying.

By Rachel Ruecker, Natasha Roy, Hailey Nuthals, and Jordan Reynolds

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The semester is rapidly wrapping up, and that means one thing — final exams. Everyone has their own studying habits, be it holing up in Bobst Library for a week as an anxious rat-type creature living in the basement, making so many flashcards that your entire credit card bill becomes index cards from Staples or winging it completely without even so much as glancing at your class notes. We all need some music to keep us going, though, and that’s where WSN staff has you covered. Check out our recommendations for best study jams, and good luck on your finals!

Film Scores

Film scores are my favorite music to study to. My attention span is incredibly short, so if I listen to music with lyrics I’ll be distracted by singing along. Classical music is boring to me, though, so I’ve found the perfect solution in listening to the scores of my favorite films. It’s familiar to me, so I’m not bored, but I’m also not sidetracked by singing along. Some favorites are “Gone Girl,” “Jackie” and “Moonlight,” but if I’m approaching a deadline, “Spotlight’s” score is my go-to — it makes me feel like the entire world is at stake, even though it’s just a writing assignment. — Jordan Reynolds, Highlighter Editor

“Death of a Bachelor,” Panic! At the Disco

Call me crazy, but I actually work really well when I listen to Panic! At the Disco’s latest album “Death of a Bachelor.” I’d recommend starting off with “Impossible Year” to get into the groove of studying, and then let the rest of the album carry you for the next few hours. Once you adjust and can keep yourself from physically jamming out to Brendon Urie’s incredible voice in “Emperor’s New Clothes,” you can let the rest of the album power you through your homework and studying. The intensity of every song jolts me awake when I’m working into the wee hours of the night — and when combined with coffee, it yields beautiful results. — Natasha Roy, News Editor

“The Desired Effect,” Brandon Flowers

“Mr. Brightside” is — as anyone in this office could tell you — my all-time favorite song. As such, Brandon Flowers’ solo work gets me through the long stretches when The Killers are between albums. His latest, “The Desired Effect,” did not disappoint. I have literally been listening to it nonstop while I study. Try to study. Okay, mostly just tweet. Regardless, it’s an outstanding album. Would recommend to a friend. — Rachel Ruecker, Senior Editor

“fall jammies,” Topshelf Records Playlist

Topshelf Records, a small independent record label based in San Diego, California, manages a lot of fantastic bands but, more importantly, makes the best playlists I’ve ever found on Spotify. Their seasonal “fall jammies” is my favorite of them all — second only to “pop a la croix 4 yer boix” — because it’s mellow enough to keep me from getting too stressed out, but not so mellow that it puts me to sleep. There’s a nice variety of indie rock styles, from synth-heavy sounds to songs that are closer to rock or blues. I probably listen to this playlist more than Topshelf Records does. Actually, I’m certain that I do. — Hailey Nuthals, Editor-in-Chief

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About the Writers
Rachel Ruecker, Editor-at-Large
Rachel is a Senior Editor here this semester, whatever that means. She really likes proving to people that she’s complicated and as such spent last semester as the Sports Editor while also being a drama major in Tisch. She is happy to report (ha!) that she made it out alive, if barely. She is also...
Natasha Roy, Managing Editor-at-Large
Natasha is a CAS sophomore studying journalism and public policy, and she’s an editor-at-large at WSN this semester. Originally from a small town outside Dallas, Texas, she moved to an even smaller town outside Atlanta, Georgia when she was nine (and she’ll absolutely force country music on you if you give her an inch). She’s...
Hailey Nuthals, Editor-at-Large
Hailey Nuthals has done so much at WSN that she’s not really sure what she’s supposed to be doing there anymore. Mostly, she writes for arts and offers her opinion on just about anything. If she’s not in the WSN office, she’s probably writing or working somewhere else, or falling into deep rabbit holes of...
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