One thing I am fascinated by is how ambient noise/music impacts focus and attention. Everyone is different, but the general consensus is that lyrics are distracting – and in most cases they are – so listening to ambient music seems to be the easy solution for people trying to find ‘music for working’ or ‘music for studying’.
But it’s hard for me to listen to ambient noise / instrumental music for hours at a time. Eventually I get lethargic and antsy to hear something more upbeat. Listening to music with lyrics seems to fill a social void that is created from pure instrumentals.
At least for me, as long as the lyrics are not too complex or spastic, once I’ve listened to a song enough times, it normally isn’t too distracting and is more of an energy boost than anything.
This is my favorite focus-oriented playlist yet. I am able to throw this sucker on repeat and it just flows.
Enjoy, and get after it!
(click here to open in Spotify)
- Jafu – “No More”
- Graves – “Seek”
- Pascäal – “Drowning In You”
- Broke – “Over”
- SBTRKT ft. Sampha – “Temporary View”
- Breakage & David Rodigan – “Rain”
- Machinedrum – “Center Your Love”
- Poté ft. Arctic Lake – “Fall”
- Arkist – “Fill My Coffee”
- Young M.a. – “OOOUUU”
- SBTRKT – “2020”
- Koreless – “4D”
- Zoo Look – “Holdin’ On”
- Joel Culpepper – “Passenger”
Summer is (somehow) winding down and I had the urge to make a playlist to fuel me over the last remaining weeks. Enjoy.
- MOON ft. Sara Z – “Timestamp”
- Zoology – “Escape”
- DJ Krush – “Kuon / Far Away”
- Submerse – “Thinking About You”
- Mount Kimbie – “Adriatic”
- Domo Genesis ft. Michael Ray Cox Jr. – “Awkward Groove”
- Jafu – “Phoam”
- Almeeva – “4 Bells”
- Milly Roze – “Lonely Summer”
- M.I.A. – “Go Off”
- Locksmith ft. Jarren Benton, Futuristic – “Blinded”
Since the era of the Walkman, my hobby for making playlists has been on a steady decline. It used to feel so natural to create and burn a playlist on CD and give it to a friend. Now that everything is digital, that physical process is antiquated and unnecessary. It’s like a hand-written letter vs. an e-mail: a hand-written letter is much more personal, but the sheer convenience of an e-mail makes a hand-written letter impractical.
Ultimately they might accomplish the same thing, but the added constraints of the old ways change the way you approach the process. Adding constraints forces you to do more with less.
When I started using Spotify, it made playlists relevant for me again. Having all your playlists synced on the cloud (and sharing them with a click of a button) is amazing. But without any constraints, I have mostly built up genre-specific song lists hundreds of songs long, but I don’t consider them playlists: there is no cohesiveness. Sitting down and crafting a playlist is much more fulfilling for me than slowly building one up over a span of weeks/months.
I forgot how fun it is to make mixtapes. I’m going to make this more of a habit.
So here’s my first one in a while. It’s anchored by some of my favorite artists (Mount Kimbie, Burial, Tokimonsta) and is filled out with a bunch of other amazing songs I’ve discovered over the past month or so.
- Mount Kimbie – Flux
- SBTRKT – Pause For Thought
- Full Crate x Mar – Nobody Else
- Pomo – On My Mind
- Lone – Stuck
- Shainuse, Duktus – Wide Eyes
- RLP – Foncanoids
- George Fitzgerald – Full Circle (feat. Boxed In)
- Burial – Shell of Light
- Tropics – Home and Consonance
- Ragen Fykes – Love Life
- Tokimonsta, Gavin Turek – Never Alone