A Study Playlist To Get You Through Finals Season
By: Jessie Garten
Do you ever find yourself scrolling aimlessly through songs on Spotify's newest playlists seeking the weekday motivation to get you through that study guide or 5-page paper you procrastinated? If so, don't fret. I’ve got you covered! Here are some of my top songs I’ve been listening to lately. These are some old and new songs from my favorite artists that never seem to get old.
“Daylight” - Joji & Diplo
Diplo, one of my favorite professional songwriters and DJs teamed up with Joji this summer to release their latest hit, “Daylight.” This hit came from Joji, the Japanese singer and songwriter's new album, Nectar, which was delayed in its release due to COVID-19. While the somber lyrics may seem too sad for many, the contracting upbeat instrumentals and melody provide for an addictive listen. In an interview, the indie songwriter shared, “My music is not biographical.” Still, the heavily shaded emotions in his songs are genuine and they speak to anyone who has ever felt stuck on the outside looking in, who knows what it means to not belong.
“I’ll Wait” - Kygo & Sasha Sloan
First calling attention from his 2013 remix, “I See Fire,” Kygo’s Golden Hour album is one I know will put anyone in their feels. Norwegian DJ, songwriter, and record producer never disappoints with his hits. Some of my other favorites include “Firestone” and “Kids in Love.” This song was released through Sony Music in April 2020 as the third single from Kygo’s third studio album. Kygo performed the songs in a live festival set to record during the pandemic on May 29, 2020. Featuring talented artists and groups such as OneRepublic, Zac Brown Band, and Sasha Sloan the calming music includes mixes of good piano beats.
“Find Someone” - A R I Z O N A
A R I Z O N A’s debut album, GALLERY contains pop/rock songs that are catchy and put you in a good mood. The album’s single, “Find Someone” is a hook-heavy song, but others like “Nostalgic” and “Problems” have more emotional lyrics. “Find Someone” is the 5th track on the band's sophomore album, Asylum. The lyrics include words of encouragement to find your own happiness. “If someone or something is not good for you in your life, there are many simple ways and places to find happiness.” Zach Hannah, the group’s lead singer, also provides strong vocals in his other tracks “Oceans Away” and “Nostalgic,” which both carry an electro-pop sound.
“In Your Eyes” - The Weekend
This song was released by talented and well-known, Canadian singer The Weeknd in March of this year. It was originally released four days before the rest of its album, After Hours. This album, also released in March, includes other songs that feel like 80’s dance music. The infamous music video features the Weeknd chasing a woman through empty city streets and shares powerful lyrics of his past experiences. He also makes many references to his relationship with the model, Bella Hadid. In this contemporary hit, The Weeknd confesses his regret and shares the pain and hurt he has been through due to alcohol and drugs.
“Don’t Check On me” - Chris Brown
This song was released by American singer Chris Brown, as the sixth single from his album, Indigo. It features Justin Bieber acoustics and a mellow guitar track similar to Brown’s past music. The track features female vocal artist Atia “Ink” Boggs includes lyrics about Brown and Bieber’s past relationships. The heartbreak has a deeper meaning to his former flame about his ex not wanting to keep in contact. He adds, “Don’t take it personal if I can’t reply now. I’m distant because I don’t want to be reached now.”
“Glitter” - BENEE
Glitter, became popular after New Zealand TikToker shared a video of friends dancing to the track and blew up with thousands of views after the song became tied to a dance challenge. Stella Rose Bennett, known as BENEE, is a New Zealand singer who made her debut in 2017 with the hit “Tough Guy.” Some of her other catchy songs include “Soaked” and “Supalonely,” which both gained international popularity. In addition, the inviting album cover catches the attention of viewers with its pop of a variety of colors.
"Coffee" - Miguel
“Coffee” immediately received critical acclaim from music critics after its release in 2015. This R&B song debuted on Pitchfork Media’s “Best New Track.” The Rolling Stone ranked this song number 27 on its 2015’s 50 best-song list. This intimate track, part of the Wildheart album, features Wale, well-known for his 2006 hit “Dig Dug.” The song “Coffee” is based on the morning after when Miguel expresses his honesty and connectivity. Miguel follows up in many interviews to tell reporters this song allows him to express his spirituality. He shares, “I wanted to describe a beautiful blur at night.”
“Lost”- Frank Ocean
This song, part of Frank Ocean’s renowned album, Channel Orange, has an R&B and pop feel. “Lost” achieved success internationally, topping New Zealand and Australia's singles charts. The song tells the story of a man who uses his girlfriend for criminal activity. She gets consumed and caught up in the scheme, with his lyrics saying, “Now you’re lost, lost in the heat of it all.” This R&B blends contemporary, soul, and pop style. Ocean’s unconventional music makes him unique from other artists in his songs such as “Thinkin Bout You”, also featured in Channel Orange, and “Nights,” included in Blonde.
“Mean It” - Lauv & LANY
With over 50 million streams, Lauv includes “Mean It” on his How I’m Feeling album with LANY. The album features other talented artists such as Anne Marie and Troye Sivan. LANY consists of the Los Angeles-based trio of Paul Klein, Les Priest, and Jake Goss. The alternative and R&B song narrates the story of a one-sided relationship. They include lyrics of being the only one to put effort into a relationship adding, “Don’t build me up just to let me down, just to let me down.” Lauv, American pop and R&B singer, is commonly known for his hits, “I Like Me Better” and “Feelings.” Most importantly, he is transparent with listeners and expresses truthful lyrics throughout his music. In an interview Lauv shares, “I’m not perfect and I’ll be the first to admit it.”
“Lonely Together” - Avicii
The legendary Avicii released this electronic hit featuring British singer Rita Ora in August 2017. The Swedish DJ worked with other talented artists including Cashmere Cat, Benny Blanco, Ali Tampposi, Watt, and Brian Lee to write this song. It tells the story of Rita Ora’s relationship and the thoughts that go through her mind late at night even though she is no longer in love. She sings, “at the bottom of a bottle, you’re the poison in my wine” and “I might hate myself tomorrow, but I’m on my way tonight.” Ora later performed this song at a music festival in the Netherlands just one week after Avicii’s death and dedicated the performance to the late artist.
“Love On the Weekend” - John Mayer
Known for his popular hits, “Gravity” and “New Light,” John Mayer released one of my favorite go-to songs from his album The Search for Everything. In November 2016, this song debuted as a return to Mayer’s pop-rock original content. Mayer, best known for his acoustic-styled songs, cultivates his amazing vocals, guitar, and piano throughout this album. His sensitive lyrics about love share a good vibe you can’t help but enjoy. The lyrics include, “I can't believe I get to see your face. You've been working and I've been waiting.”
“Hold You Tonight” - Gryffin & Chris Lane
Not many people would think EDM and country music would blend and become a hit. Chris Lane, star of “Big, Big Plans,” collaborated with Gryffin, (who tracked the sounds behind Maroon 5’s “Animals” and Tove Lo’s “Talking Body”) to release this club-thumping yet romantic beat that’ll put you in the best mood. Chris Lane shares his dedication to this track of southern vocals with his wife of two years, Lauren Lane.
“Faded” - Alan Walker
This is one single that never gets old. In December 2015, Norwegian DJ and record producer, Alan Walker received fame internationally after releasing the hit track, “Faded.” Ranked 27th on DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJ in 2019 and currently the 21st most viewed video on YouTube, it tops the charts in many countries. The repetitive lyrics, “You set my heart on fire, where are you now,” are backed by drums, percussion, and strong piano sounds. Iselin Løken Solheim provides strong vocals and additionally adds to Walker’s other hit, “Sing Me to Sleep.”
“Everything I Wanted” - Billie Eilish
Billie Eilish and her brother, Finneas O'Connell, best known as FINNEAS, wrote, "Everything I Wanted" in September 2018. Eilish shared in interviews the inspiration of “Everything I Wanted” after feeling upset and depressed with herself. The lyrics include “I had a dream, I had everything I wanted” and are backed by a fast tempo and become Eilish’s second top-ten hit in the United States. The 19-year-old American singer and songwriter received positive reviews and reached number eight in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. She directed the song’s music video and it debuted at number one in charts among many countries around the world.
“Better” - Khalid
Khalid, the Texan singer and songwriter, signed to Right Hand Music Group and RCA records in 2016 and reached fame from his hits “Location” and “American Teen” at a young age. After success on their collaboration “Love Lies,” Khalid and Charlie Handsome teamed up for “Better.” Featured on the album’s EP and Free Spirit, “Better” was first released in September 2018 as the lead single for Khalid’s EP Suncity. The song was an immediate success and peaked at number eight on the charts in the United States. “Better” received popularity for its rhythmic single and includes lyrics about his love interest about being with her, sharing “nothing feels better.”
Through the tap of the Spotify app and plugging in your headphones now, you’ll be prepared to tackle your next assignment. This 15-song mix of R&B, EDM, and pop will be sure to boost your productivity. For more music, be sure to browse other music by these talented artists, as well as similar artists!