When it comes to studying and assignments for college, I’m definitely one of those people who will try to find any way out of it, even though you cannot fight the inevitable. My Mam has always said how my younger brother and I are like chalk and cheese in that respect. When he has to get college stuff done, he just sits down until he’s finished. I’m the opposite. I’m constantly moving around, getting distracted and managing to busy myself with useless tasks that I wouldn’t even consider doing, were it my free time they would be eating into.
One thing that I’ve always found helpful in keeping me focused is music. I hate trying to work in complete silence. For some reason it really unnerves me. I’m on the final stretch with my Masters course, so there is a good bit of work to get through, so anything that helps keep me in a seat for extended periods of time is a must. So, I thought I’d share a few of my favourite albums that are my go-tos at the moment when procrastination isn’t an option. Here they are:
Beauty Behind the Madness – The Weeknd
So if you’ve been following my ramblings here on the blog (or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), you will no doubt have seen me mention The Weeknd at some point. It’s safe to say that I’ve got a bit of an obsession with his music lately. His latest album, Starboy, is also one I’m loving at the minute, but I find myself playing it’s predecessor, Beauty Behind the Madness, quite a lot when I’m studying. I think he’s got such a unique sound, somebody that you instantly recognise if you hear their songs come on the radio.
Favourite Song: In The Night
Divide – Ed Sheeran
I’d have to be living under a rock in the back of beyond to have missed this album. Literally everyone is talking about it. I, like a lot of people have loved Ed Sheeran since his first release, Plus (+). He is not only super talented, but comes across so down to earth and humble that it’s impossible not to like him. Everyone in Ireland seems to be in love with his song Galway Girl but if I’m honest, I can’t really warm to it. But it is probably the only song I don’t really like on the album.
Favourite Song: Castle on the Hill
Deleted Scenes from The Cutting Room Floor – Caro Emerald
One of the things I really love about Spotify is how you can stumble across stuff and instantly be hooked on it. This happened to me recently when I found this album by Dutch Singer Caro Emerald. I just love the pop meets jazz flavour of the songs, and feel like I’m being transported back to a smoky, jazz parlour from the 1920’s when I listen to them. A great little find for sure.
Favourite Song: That Man
Human – Rag ‘n’ Bone Man
Rag ‘n’ Bone Man (real name Rory Graham) just has one of those soulful voices that can send chills up your spine. I think he is like a male version of Adele. Human is his first big studio release but we are definitely going to be hearing more from him well into the future. There are some clear favourites that are already stuck in my head, but this album as a whole is so relaxing to listen to.
Favourite Song: Love You Any Less
Born To Die: The Paradise Edition – Lana Del Rey
The first time I heard Lana Del Rey’s music I was instantly captivated by her, as it is unlike anything I’ve ever heard before. I’ve listened to her avidly since the release of her first album Born To Die, and I think that is her best album to date. The Paradise Edition added to the original and made it even better. Like I say, I find her music so unique, and really great to have on in the background. It’s both soothing, and makes you think of the old Hollywood glamour of the 1930’s.
Favourite Song: Off To The Races
50 Shades of Grey: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – Various Artists
The books may be atrocious and the film adaptations don’t appear to be much better, but one thing the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise has going for it, are its excellent soundtracks. The latest release that coincided with the release of Fifty Shades Darker is good, but it doesn’t top the soundtrack of the first film. I’d much rather listen to it over and over than inflict the film on myself.
Favourite Song: Crazy in Love (Remix) – Beyoncé
Night Visions – Imagine Dragons
This album came out when I was studying undergraduate science at NUI Galway, and I was obsessed with it at the time. I recently started listening to it again, and it reminds me of that time in my life, sort of like a musical bookmark. I love the album for the same reason I loved it five years ago: because it is one of those ones were almost every song could be the lead single.
Favourite Song: Bleeding Out
Lungs – Florence and the Machine
If ever there was an album to make you want to unleash your inner hippy, it’s this one. Florence Welsh’s voice is amazing, and Lungs is filled with quirky tracks perfect for any summer music festival. It also is a great album to throw on while you’re working as it has a nice mix of upbeat and slower songs.
Favourite Songs: Drumming Song
Broke with Expensive Taste – Azealia Banks
It’s safe to say that Azealia Banks is more know for her numerous Twitter feuds and allegedly disturbing hobby of sacrificing chickens. She seems to be on a downward spiral, but I really wish she could get her s**t together and sort herself out because her debut album, Broke with Expensive Taste, shows that she has so much potential. Some of the songs on here would be sure-fire hits if it was all about the music instead of the scandal.
Favourite Song: Heavy Metal And Reflective
Hozier – Hozier
Hozier is like an Irish Ed Sheeran in that he is super talented, while remaining quite grounded and unassuming. His debut album is just phenomenal, and I for one am counting down the days until he releases a follow-up. He had a song out last year that was on the new Tarzan movie soundtrack, but no official word on a new album just yet. Hurry up there Hozier, will ya!
Favourite Song: From Eden