It’s about 1am and you’re finally preparing yourself to do that most audacious of tasks, start doing some real work; detrimental to your physical health as it is. The lamp flicks on, the pen/keyboard is ready and you’ve got your supply of sugar, but what do you listen to? What album plays you off into the ungodly hours of the morning? Here is a short list of albums that I rate, specifically for situations like this.
Helios – Eingya
Keith Kenniff, the genius behind Helios and Goldmund, is an absolute wizard with all things soothing and ambient. His 2006 and six release Einya, will however always stay with me as his strongest album (as Helios atleast). Utilising blissful synths, gorgeous acoustic instrumentation and superbly implemented samples, Einya will see you deep into the abyss of the morning. Don’t expect to stay awake all night; your study plane will crash into bed, however, when it does happen, you’ll at least be at peace.
Recommended listening: Coast Off
Damien Rice – O
Another release that makes me feel more vulnerable than I’m willing to admit, but Damien Rice’s, O, is perfect studying music, IF you have a bottle of wine. Damien sings the sad truths of love, commitment, time and disappointment; perfect for the self-pity that comes with the 4am crash. I had an internal debate between O and the other release, 9, but O is much more miserable and wonderfully acoustic compared to 9. That being said, it would be nice if I had more choice, but Damien seems to be selfishly wallowing around in despair and not releasing anything new; what a douche. Please note that if Mr Rice ever reads this I have nothing but unrequited love for him, seriously.
Recommended listening: Older Chests
Moonlit Sailor – Colors In Stereo
All the tunes so far a wee bit too down-tempo for you? Let’s move things in the other direction for a bit then. Moonlit Sailor. These guys are four-piece Swedish act that make some of the most divine post-rock music I’ve ever heard. Colors In Stereo has everything you could want from a work album, amazingly uplifting tunes, lovely album art and a mentality of optimism that’s infused into the music. It won’t be long into this album before you’re feeling cautiously optimistic about your work. You may even feel, dare I say it, confident!
Recommended listening: Weekday Escape
65daysofstatic – We Were Exploding Anyway
Not peaceful, not considerate, but breathtaking and powerful. The 2010 effort of Sheffield’s instrumental-rock legends sets itself apart from their early albums with a more vicious and (you could say), fake sound that lured them away from their post-rock roots. More synths, more drum machines and more boom, boom, pow! This album stands the test of time and proves that change can not only be successful for a band, but essential to keeping a sound fresh and stimulating. Expect to feel jumpy, hip and kissable (that album art man), while you etch down your innermost thoughts on that essay. And then delete them because you realise you were talking nonsense.
Recommended listening: Crash Tactics
Bark Psychosis – Hex
The slowest of slowcore that sets one of the most memorable music scenes you’ll ever listen to on an album. Bark Psychosis create this incredibly thick atmosphere of rainy late-night movie soundtracks in Hex and it becomes something you have to shake off after your listen, or you might take up smoking and standing in the rain to feel as if you’re in a scene from this album. Give it time and this album will become the soundtrack to your months of rain and solitude. Try to get that essay done and forget how gloomy Bark Psychosis make the world seem.
Recommended listening: The Loom
L’Orange – The Mad Writer
L’Orange takes a bunch of samples from old movies, applies some sick beats, delicious textures and occasional vocalised songs that hit rather close to home. I didn’t pick this album because of how shamefully obvious it is, I did it because of how tip-fucking-top it is. I swear on me mum. Perfect for studying, this album has a thick smoky atmosphere that insists you crack open some whiskey to fully enjoy it. Every track on this album has an incredibly eerie mood that binds together samples from olde-time radio and movies like mad that makes it burst at the seams with personality. Pay attention and you might learn something.
Faithless – Reverence
My British is starting to show. Despite this absolutely mesmerising album only reaching the #26 in the UK charts on it’s release, some of it’s songs still went on to be absolutely massive. See Insomnia. What I think is really striking about this album is how fluently it rides the early trip-hop genre that was around during the early 90s. Faithless use the same big elements as Massive Attack, but go about it in a very different, and talented, way on some tracks and I think that that’s what helps Faithless stand out. Not to mention that the laid back nature of these songs lends itself perfectly to the student all-nighter; whether your partying or studying, this album can help you through it.
Recommended listening: Insomnia (The full version)
World’s End Girlfriend – Ending Story
World’s End Girlfriend is the project of a single gentleman that just wows me. The albums put out by the mastermind that is Katsuhiko Maeda, are consistently beautiful, startling, strange and effective. The sounds of classical music, rock, funk, electronic and a whole handful of other genres are mixed seamlessly into this guys work. The album I choose though, Ending Story, is a more electronically/classically focused album. If you haven’t heard of World’s End Girlfriend, then this album is a grand place to start. Just be sure to bookmark your sanity; some of these tracks take strange to a whole new level and could roll you down to the looney bin before you finish that essay.
Recommended listening: Listening You