I love listening to music while working. It doesn't matter what I'm doing, music will always be there; however, I frequently have issues concentrating when I'm playing songs with complex, fast lyrics in them. To fix that, I typically play instrumental or calmer tracks in the background to get my focus back on track. Here are some of my favorite — and most effective — songs and playlists to listen to while I work!
1. Cole Summer (Instrumental) by J. Cole
The instrumental of Cole Summer by J. Cole is probably my most listened to song at the moment. Not only does it have a groovy bassline and a light drum beat behind it, but it also has a soothing aura that just surrounds me and my brain without taking away my concentration. I do also really enjoy the original song (rap included), but for studying and doing homework, the instrumental is definitely the way to go.
2. I Fall in Love Too Easily (Backing Track) by Chet Baker
This song just warms up my little jazz nerd of a heart. I Fall in Love Too Easily is by far one of my most favorable jazz charts of all time. It maintains a classic, elegant vibe to it, while also enabling the listener to picture themselves in a café, sipping on some warm coffee on a rainy day.
I equally love the backing track and the vocal version, but ultimately, it depends on my mood. If you're feeling a little sad and a little lonely, I highly recommend listening to the vocal version, sung and performed by jazz heartthrob Chet Baker himself.
This cover by jazz saxophonist Ayumi Kotetsu is also a great alternative to the aforementioned chart. Her rendition of I Fall in Love Too Easily definitely carries more of that "sitting in the café at Starbucks" vibe, but all versions are incredibly enjoyable.
3. Can't Take My Eyes Off You by Crucial Star
South Korean rapper Crucial Star does a wonderful job of creating a relaxing sound with his release, Can't Take My Eyes Off You. Unlike other typical hard-hitting, "swaggy" rap songs, CTMEOY carries a sweet rhythm led by a gentle piano melody in the background. It is the perfect background noise to concentrate with while accomplishing all of your tasks.
4. La Vie Parisienne Mix by Past Perfect Vintage Music
You may be thinking, what the heck is this? and who even listens to this stuff?, which is valid, but this playlist is just so vintage and Parisian-sounding that it makes me long for a trip to France. The antique quality of the French singers' vocals, the cheery background instrumentals, and the beautiful French language ties the music together to produce a lovely, charming gift for the ears.
This soundtrack is so light and happy that I've grown to like working and doing homework. It may sound like an exaggeration, but the only way to find out whether it's true or not is to try it out for yourself!
5. Smooth 'Future Bass' Collection by Aviencloud
This playlist has songs that are completely unlike the ones that I've previously mentioned in terms of feel, but it is just as effective for helping me stay on task. When it's 11:00 at night and you're nearly about to fall asleep on your homework, this playlist is the ideal remedy for your fatigue. Its overall upbeat rhythms, "electronic" beats, and groovy vocals are both engaging and attractive so that you'll never be bored while working.
6. a t c a f e by Synthさ
It'd be pretty peculiar if I didn't include a lofi mix, so here it is! In my opinion, the best type of lofi playlists to listen to is the ones that include jazzhop (jazz + hip-hop) feels. It combines my constant, frequent dream of studying in a café with the opening song of a popular student vlog video.
This playlist in particular is really relaxing because it features a lot of the lingering static noise — well-recognized by the lofi community — while also highlighting the emotions of the original singers and instrumentalists. This and the La Vie Parisienne mix would most indefinitely be my definition of art.
7. Zelda: Breath of the Wind Soundtrack Compilation by Vapidbobcat
After playing so many different video games throughout my youth, I can comfortably declare that Zelda: Breath of the Wind has one of the best soundtracks to listen to. Vapidbobcat goes the extra step with this playlist to include the sound of general night ambiance, which helps to bound the music together even better.
If you are someone who prefers quiet, subtle noises over loud, busy ones, then this playlist is definitely for you. These songs are also effective in assisting with falling asleep.
8. Mint Jams (1982) by Casiopea
Throughout my high school years, as someone who has had to deal with mountains of stress, I've found Japanese city pop and funk to be my spoonful of sugar. Not only is it bright and energetic, but it also has a nostalgic, reminiscent sound to it, which I absolutely adore.
9. Beautiful by 준(JUNE) ft. Gaho, Moti, 정진우
Beautiful by 준(JUN) is the epitome of relaxation. It features smooth, velvety vocals by JUNE, Gaho, and Jung Jinwoo while also playing around with the bossa nova-type feel of the instruments. The calming, light instrumentals plus the playful percussion beats produce a 'beautiful' (no pun intended) track. Currently, 준(JUN) is one of my favorite artists, so if you liked this song, I definitely encourage you to listen to more of his other masterpieces!
10. Flower by Johnny Stimson
I would be lying if I said that I've never jammed out to this amazing song. Flower is a great option to listen to while studying because it's both subtle yet engaging. Johnny Stimson's voice in addition to the powerful, impactful background instrumentals make for a great combination that'll put a smile on anyone's face.
Time to Try It Out!
The next time you're studying, working, or just trying to concentrate, try out my suggestions! They'll help put you in just the right mood!