Graphic by Chelsea Cleary

Graphic by Chelsea Cleary

By Aaron Evans, Opinion Editor

It’s a Sunday evening. You’ve been cooped up in your dorm room studying or in a coffee shop somewhere off campus, because you might have gone mad if you had to stay on campus a second longer. You can feel the creeping approach of Monday classes on your back and you’re doing everything humanly possible to make sure all the homework you didn’t do on Friday and Saturday gets done. But there’s one thing that keeps you sane throughout the tornado of papers and highlighted terms: good music.

One of the ways that makes doing homework much more bearable for me has been listening to music. It may seem silly, but I often find myself looking forward to those rainy weekends spent at Starbucks doing homework just so I can be still and listen to more than five seconds of my favorite bands, even if it’s while I’m doing homework.

For some of us, music provides the white noise we need to tune out the rest of world, or even give us inspiration, regardless of whether we’re memorizing terms or writing a poetic memoir. In my time of being in college, I’ve found several artists to be especially helpful in my homework and study times. Here are my top five study-time bands:





1.) The National

The National is one of those bands with the perfect blend of catchy melodies and fun instrumentation along side a mellow, relaxing sound that has always sparked my productivity. This is definitely a band you can’t pick and choose from their songs, so check out the albums “High Violet” and “Boxer.”

2.) Songs of Water

This group is definitely a group to give attention to. Songs of Water is an instrumental collective that consist of dulcimers, cellos, violins, guitars and variety of unique instruments that are used to draw out a sound that echoes different cultures and time periods. They’re definitely worth listening to and are sure to stir up plenty of inspiration for the creative types. I would start with the album “The Sea Has Spoken.”

3.) Cageless Birds

This groups music is a must have for all situations besides studying. Cageless Birds is a collective of musicians who a part of a ministry called “A Place for the Heart”, a camp for young adults to grow in art, worship and creativity. Their album “Live at Home” actually makes you feel at home, and does wonders for calming the mental storms we feel during those last minute papers and projects. Don’t pass these talented worshipers by.

4.) The Mynabirds

The Mynabirds are the perfect blend of jazz, soul and even some folk here and there. This is definitely one of those bands you want to save for a rainy day. Their album “What We Loose in the Fire, We Gain in the Flood” is definitely my favorites from them, making for great, bluesy background music.

5.) Aural Method

If you’re looking for music when you need focus deeply, you’ve found your artist. Aural Method creates an ambient, ethereal sound combined with more classical instruments like violin and cello that sets this group apart from your average instrumental artist. I rarely use words like “beautiful”, but I would say that about Aural Method. Their only album is called “When I Drifted I Heard a Faint Melody,” which is sure to get you focused, thinking, and hopefully inspired.